Saturday night the UFC takes control of the FOX network airwaves for the fourth time since its primetime debut in November, bringing the fans of Los Angeles, California’s Staples Center a live spectacle courtesy of UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera. Starting off the Pay-Per-View worthy main card is former top welterweight “Quick” Mike Swick (14-4) seeking a resurgence in his career after an injury and illness-riddled past two years as he squares off with TUF alum “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-10). WEC veteran “C-4″ Jamie Varner (20-6-1) looks to build on a recent upturn in his storied tenure as he faces submission aficionado “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (21-7). Co-main event honors go to elusive Shotokan Karate fighter and former UFC 205lbs. champion “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (17-3) and decorated NCAA Div. I wrestler “Darth” Ryan Bader (14-2), both of whom are hell bent on a rematch with reigning champion “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1). The event’s headliners pits PRIDE veteran and Chute Box fighter “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-6) against Muay Thai wrecking ball “The Truth” Brandon Vera (12-5), with the winner reportedly guaranteed a shot at UFC gold. A lot is on the line for these elite mixed martial artists at UFC on FOX 4, and it’s safe to say that virtually anything can happen. Here, the staff of MMA Gospel takes a crack at determining who will rise to the top come Saturday, and who will be sent to the back of the line.
With three solid showings already, the FOX network broadcasts a card deserving a spot on the Pay-Per-View rotation as the UFC presents UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera. “Quick” Mike Swick (14-4) returns after a two-year hiatus to battle with “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-10) in the main card opener. “C-4″ Jamie Varner (20-6-1) hopes to continue his resurgence in the lightweight division when he meets submission specialist “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (21-7). In the co-main event, “Darth” Ryan Bader (14-2) returns after an impressive victory at UFC 144 to take on the unorthodox “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (17-3). The landscape of the light heavyweight division is bound for drastic change as a title shot is up for grabs in the main event. Former champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-6) will try to make his way to the top of the mountain, but he will have to challenge a fellow Muay Thai wrecking machine, “The Truth” Brandon Vera (12-5). Each has dawdled in the light heavyweight division rankings but now that the path to gold is set in stone for them, it’s crucial for both men to make the best out of this opportunity.