Los Angeles, CA — UFC on FOX 4 showcases two vastly different contests at Light Heavyweight, and in the end, smooth technique beat out rugged will for a shot at the coveted UFC Championship.

Ahead of Saturday’s event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua appeared to be the internal favorite for a shot at the winner of the upcoming title bout between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson, but if he lost to Brandon Vera, or if the winner of the Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader match looked more impressive, he would not be crowned the number one contender.

And that is what happened. Lyoto Machida’s first round with Ryan Bader was a snoozefest as neither man looked anxious to commit, but the events of the second round could not have gone more favorably. An overeager Bader charged in on Machida and introduced his head to Machida’s right fist, which caused him to instantly drop to the mat. Machida followed up with some exclamation point strikes on the ground to score the knockout victory.

Rua’s fourth round TKO win over Brandon Vera looks almost as good in a vacuum, but the events leading up to that finish were far less impressive. Both Rua and Vera were exhausted for much of the fight, and the action, though quite eventful, devolved into a sloppy trainwreck. Neither man could really defend against the other’s attacks, and neither offered any sort of speed showcase.

Rugged wars of attrition are often exciting for fans, but when it comes to throwing a word like “impressive” around, a sports league has to err on the side of the guy who showed the most poise, technique and athleticism.

And on Saturday night, that man was Lyoto Machida, who now ranks as the number one contender for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Also on the main FOX card: Joe Lauzon submitted Jamie Varner in the third round of a thrilling, back-and-forth affair, while Mike Swick returned with a bang to knock out DaMarques Johnson.

Full UFC on FOX Results:
John Moraga b. Ulysses Gomez via KO (elbows and punches) at 3:46 of Round One
Manny Gamburyan b. Michihiro Omigawa via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Phil DeFries b. Oli Thompson via submission (RNC) at 4:16 of Round Two
Rani Yahya b. Josh Grispi via submission (north-south) at 3:15 of Round One
Phil Davis fought Wagner Prado to a No Contest (accidental eye poke) at 1:28 of Round One
Nam Phan b. Cole Miller via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Mike Swick b. DaMarques Johnson via KO (punches) at 1:20 of Round Two
Joe Lauzon b. Jamie Varner via submission (triangle) at 2:44 of Round Three
Lyoto Machida b. Ryan Bader via KO (punches) at 1:32 of Round Two
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua b. Brandon Vera via TKO (punches) at 4:09 of Round Four

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