UFC On Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera -- Wrestling Observer Staff Picks & Preview



Compiled by Josh Nason

UFC on Fox 4: Vera vs. Shogun



Consider Saturday's UFC on Fox 4 event a Countdown show of sorts for ratings/top 205-pound contender talk for next week. (Seriously, you know what we're interested in around here, right?)

Our panel:

- Dave Meltzer (66-32): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

- Todd Martin (59-39): Weekly FFD guest & RAW recapper | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sempervive (56-42): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

- Mike Sawyer (62-36) of Tough Talk

- Oliver Copp (60-33) of Tough Talk

- Josh Nason (60-38):
FFD guest | FIGHT! Magazine | Bloody Elbow

B. Bryan Alvarez (17-12) is still missing.

*****

'Shogun' Rua (20-6) vs. Brandon Vera (12-5-0-1)

Yes, this is the main event of a Fox primetime event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Seriously. At 30 years old, Rua is coming off the tremendous five-round affair last November against Dan Henderson and has lost two of his last three. In his way stands the 34-year-old Vera, slotted in after a series of injuries apparently necessitated it. Before edging out Eliot Marshall in a bland decision win last October, Vera was 0-2-1.

Shogun: Nason, Martin, Sawyer, Copp, Sempervive, Meltzer

Lyoto Machida (17-3) vs. Ryan Bader (14-2)

After creating a great feel-good story in winning the UFC 205-pound gold, Machida has struggled with just one win in his last four fights. He was last seen slumped unconscious on the canvas after Jon Jones dispatched him in December. Five years his junior, Bader rebounded from losses to Jones and Tito Ortiz with victories over Jason Brilz and 'Rampage' Jackson.

Machida: Martin, Sawyer, Sempervive, Meltzer
Bader:
Nason, Copp

Joe Lauzon (21-7) vs. Jamie Varner (20-6-1-2)


Lauzon looks to get back in the win column after a quick first round KO loss to Anthony Pettis earlier this year, snapping a two-fight win streak. He takes on injury replacement Varner, who got a return shot in the UFC due to, yes, injury. He took advantage, knocking out Edson Barboza in the first round. At just 27, he may still have more in the tank just yet.

Lauzon: Nason, Martin, Copp, Sempervive, Meltzer
Varner:
Sawyer

Mike Swick (14-4) vs. DaMarques Johnson (16-10)

After more than two years on the shelf due to injuries and serious stomach ailments, Swick returns to the Octagon. He had lost two in a row, but with such a long absence, does that mean anything? He fights the up-and-down Johnson who is 4-4 in his UFC career. He is coming off an April second round submission loss to John Maguire.

Swick: Nason, Sawyer, Copp, Meltzer
Johnson:
Martin, Sempervive

Bonus Pick: Phil Davis (9-1) vs. Wagner Prado (8-0)


This fight isn't on the main card, but I wanted to test our crew. Davis is coming off the first loss of his career to Rashad Evans, derailing his progress up the 205-pound ladder. An impressive win here could turn that around in a division that needs it. He faces the debuting and undefeated Prado, a Brazilian who has seven of his eight careers wins by T/KO.

Davis: Nason, Martin, Sawyer, Copp, Sempervive, Meltzer

As always, follow along with all the Fuel TV undercard action and main Fox action on WrestlingObserver.com with the one and only Dave Meltzer.

Related Content

Send us a news tip: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news from this site or from our newsletters, please include a link to www.wrestlingobserver.com

For the most in-depth and detailed news and analysis on pro-wrestling and MMA, always turn to Wrestlingobserver.com/Figure Four Weekly Online, the #1 website of its kind on the Internet. Members receive online access to both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly newsletters and growing archives, Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer three times per week, the popular Bryan and Vinny Show three times per week, additional radio shows including Figure Four Daily with Alvarez, Mike Coughlin's Five Star Radio, the Dr. Keith Lipinski Show, The Adam and Mike Big Audio Nightmare, Tough Talk and the Karl Stern Wrestling History Show, the infamous BOARD, and more! Members also have full access to the thousands of hours of audio in our radio show archives which date back to 2005. For your convenience, we offer secure online payments using your VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card or PayPal account. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now! Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now!

Want full access? QUICK AND EASY SIGN-UP, AS LOW AS $9.99 PER MONTH!

Who is the strongest of these as a Hall of Fame candidate?

 

Who is the strongest of these as a Hall of Fame candidate?

 

What is the biggest show of the weekend?

 

What did you think of Tuesday night's Main Event?

 

Who do you expect to win this fight?