There are plenty of things to do on a Saturday night. However, most don’t involve watching two men locked inside of a cage attempting to punch, kick, knee, and choke their way to victory. In reality, though, few things match the excitement.
The UFC returns to the State of Calfornia for the first time since Oct. 2009 for their fourth network television event, headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon Vera. The event features a strong undercard with a number of pivotal and competitive match ups.
If you weren’t planning on tuning in already, here are five reasons why you should invite some friends over, order a few pizzas, grab a couple beers, and tune into UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera this Saturday night, only on FOX.
5. Three Top-10 Light Heavyweights Compete
The UFC on FOX 4 fight card features three fighters currently ranked in the top-10 in the light heavyweight division, two of which have held the championship. Top-5 ranked former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua takes on unranked Brandon Vera in the headliner of the event. And in the co-main event top-10 205-pounders collide as former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida battles Ryan Bader.
To see this many top-10 fighters participating on one card, especially a free card, is rare in this era of the UFC. Saturday’s UFC card is one featuring legendary names and great match ups, if you want to see the very best the UFC has to offer, UFC on FOX 4 is a can’t miss event.
4. Brandon Vera Chance At Redemption
Just a few months ago, Brandon Vera was hovering around the lower-tier of the UFC light heavyweight division, wondering what happened to his once-promising career. Now he is fighting in the main event of massive nationally televised event against a legend of the sport in Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. One man’s misfortune is another man opportunity and when “Shogun” turned down a fight with Glover Teixiera, Vera’s opportunity came knocking as the UFC offered him the chance to fight Rua in the main event of their fourth event on FOX.
“The Truth” was once one of the most promising up-and-comers in the sport. A lot of fans will remember his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan a few years back where Vera said his goal was to become a two-division champion at heavyweight and light heavyweight. Obviously, things didn’t turn out that was as very has hit more than a couple roadblocks in his career and those hopes have been swiftly dashed away. Vera was forced out of the heavyweight division a few years back and has competed at 205-pounds for the last few years. He has no significant wins in the weight class in _ fights, but has the chance to chance all of that when he takes on Rua.
Vera is a massive underdog in the fight, but has the chance to shock the world if he can show up with a solid game plan and fight with the killer instinct he displayed early on in his career. At UFC on FOX 4, Brandon Vera has the chance to redeem his career. If he can accomplish what many believe to be the unthinkable and defeat Rua at, all of his past struggles will be forgiven and he will immediately place himself right at the top of the pack in the light heavyweight division.
3. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader
Two of the top light heavyweights on the UFC roster collide in the UFC on FOX 4 co-main event when former UFC light heavyweight champion and karate specialist Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida takes on “The Ultimate Fighter” season 8 winner Ryan Bader in a fight that carries a lot of divisional relevancy at 205-pounds.
Bader last fought at UFC 144 in Japan where he upset Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by unanimous decision to earn the biggest victory of his career. The American currently boast a 7-2 record in the UFC with his only losses coming to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former light heavyweight titleholder, Tito Ortiz. Bader has won his last two bouts since the loss to Ortiz and after his win over “Rampage”, is out to win his second straight fight against a former UFC champion and prove he is a title contender with a win at UFC on FOX 4.
Machida has struggled to find consistency since losing the light heavyweight championship to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua back at UFC 113 in May 2008. The Japanese-Brazilian fighter is 1-3 in his last four bouts with the lone victory coming over the now-retired Randy “The Natural” Couture. Machida last competed at UFC 140 in December where he was choked unconscious by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in his attempt at becoming UFC champion once again. Coming off the crushing defeat to Jones, Machida will look to show the division he is still a threat when he takes on Bader.
While the next fight is always the most important of a competitors career, this fight is particularly important for both man, especially Lyoto Machida. The Brazilian desperately needs to win, and win impressively, to prove he is not on the downside of his career. While he is the favorite over Bader, he can’t underestimate his opponent or it could wind up being an embarrassing night for him. For Bader, he needs a strong showing to prove his last win over “Rampage” Jackson was no fluke. “Rampage” was injured, and from the looks of it unmotivated, in their fight back at UFC 144 and an argument can be made that had a lot to do with Bader’s win. Jon Jones choked out both Machida and Bader and if they ever want a second crack at the champion, this is a must-win fight.
2. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon “The Truth” Vera
Two of the top mauy-thai specialists in the UFC light heavyweight division clash in the headlining bout of the UFC’s fourth show on FOX as former PRIDE Grand Prix and UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua battles Brandon “The Truth” Vera. The bout is equally as significant for the future of the 205-pound weight class as the night’s co-main event between Machida and Bader and is a critical contest for both men.
Rua was last seen in the octagon at UFC 139 where he battled Dan Henderson in a 25-minute “Fight of the Year” candidate, but was unable to come out on the winning side as the judges awarded Henderson a close decision. It was not long ago that “Shogun” was the champion of the light heavyweight division, but he lost the belt to Jones in March 2011 and will have the chance to earn a rematch with the man who took is belt with a win on Saturday night.
Vera has not competed since a controversial unanimous decision victory against Eliot Marshall at UFC 137 in October 2011. Prior to that win, Vera has gone 0-2 with one no contest and was on the verge of being cut from the organization. Vera was slated to face James Te Huna on the UFC on FUEL TV 4 card, but was pulled from the bout to fight Rua. The career of the 34-year-old is now in the midst of rejuvenation as Vera has been granted the opportunity to headline a network television event against one of the most decorated light heavyweights of all time.
This is a very risky fight for Rua and a tremendous opportunity for Vera. After injuries forced the original main event of Brian Stann vs. Hector Lombard off the card, the Rua vs. Vera bout was scheduled and had some fans scratching their heads due to the ranking gap between the two men. Rua talks about how his goal is to get another fight with Jon Jones. In order to do that, he must make an example of Vera in front of a primetime audience. From Vera’s perspective, he doesn’t even have to win impressively in the fight. The name of someone like “Shogun” in his win column would do wonders for his career, which not long ago looked to be dead in the water.
1. The Event Is Free
For the twelfth time this year, the UFC will deliver a free card to the fans, this one going down at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., a city where the organization has not held an event since UFC 104 all the way back in Oct. of 2009.
If you’re upset about spending $55 on the lackluster card that was UFC 149 a few weeks ago, the UFC is more than making up for it with this stacked event. The two headlining bouts have championship implications as former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua takes on Brandon “The Truth” Vera in the main event. The co-main event will see former 205-pound title holder Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida clash with “The Ultimate Fighter” season 8 winner Ryan “Darth” Bader.
If you’re in the mood for a UFC fix, tune into UFC on FOX 4 for some free UFC action.