UFC on Fox 4 bonuses (and analysis) - Lauzon, Swick, Varner

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isk
8/4/12 10:40:56PM
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LOS ANGELES – Joe Lauzon, Mike Swick and Jamie Varner each earned $50,000 bonus awards for their performances at Saturday's "UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera" event.

Swick earned the "Knockout of the Night" award, Lauzon and Varner each earned "Fight of the Night" awards and Lauzon even double-dipped with a "Submission of the Night" bonus and took home $100,000 in total.
isk
8/4/12 10:43:52PM
My thoughts on the card -

Another fun fight from Shogun, though I'm not sure I saw a lot here that wasn't there before. Lest we forget, he also tried to take down Machida in their second fight, with Machida easily defending and ending up on top. He admitted he gassed in between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and it seemed like he fought like he did against Hendo.

I don't mean that as a bash on Shogun, but it seems like we know what we're going to get from him right now. The Shogun who showed up tonight would be mauled by Jones, and maybe by Machida as well. That said, he's obviously still a top guy. If he can resolve his cardio (and suspected knee) issues, I think he'll be a bit scarier. His chin continues to hold up, but eventually it's gonna give out and that'll be tragic with a middling cardio.

Just after the fight, Joe Silva came up to Vera and said, "hell of a fight, man." I can't disagree - Vera showed tons of heart up until that last exchange - and I don't blame him there, either. A solid left hook knocked the mouthpiece out of place, and after that, Shogun picked his shots and finished it as he can.

Still, I think Vera belongs in the UFC as well. This may have been Vera's last chance at the title, with him turning 35 later this year, but I think he can be an excellent mid- to high-level guy to fill in on any card. His real issue seems to be a combination involving cardio and aggression - he had a few openings he just didn't take tonight, especially while on the ground, and that's what'll eventually keep him from a belt.

Other thoughts -

--Ryan Bader, this is what we call a trend. Running through punches is not a viable strategy, and all the power and speed in the world won't compensate for boxing like a schoolyard bully. Granted, this is to take nothing away from Lyoto Machida, who looked super sharp and confident. Part of it was a style mismatch, right, like coming in I didn't think Bader had anything for Machida at all, but this just proved that Bader needs a dramatic change. New camp, new striking coach, whatever - he just can't keep bullrushing and expect to get a title. As for Machida, I still favor Jones in a rematch, but I still think it's questionable enough to be interesting and I like his chances against Hendo, too (should that upset happen).

--Joe Lauzon and Jamie Varner was another fight that played out like I expected. Varner has this thing to where if an opponent can weather his initial swarm, he fades a bit. Bear in mind this is a guy who looks swole at 170, so cutting down to 155 needs to be managed better. Dolce Diet, perhaps? Meanwhile, Lauzon fought a smart fight, pacing himself and employing controlled aggression to wear down Varner while burning his cardio efficiently. Good, fun fight.

--To me, Mike Swick absolutely had the KO of the night. He still needs to work on his straight punches, because I think he'd be a crazy good striker if he worked on his jab, but that punch coming down on Johnson was highlight reel perfect. As for DaMarques, he'll likely get to the point to where a string of losses will lead to a cut, but that's okay. In the meantime, he'll show up and get paid and keep mixing it up.

--Phil Davis and Wagner Prado should rematch. That's it.

--Josh Grispi might be the new holder of the most unfortunate nickname in MMA. His post-fight interview reinforced that he's a smart, talented guy, but for some reason he just doesn't seem to be able to put it all together. Let him go on the regional circuit, or over to Japan, let him get some more experience because he's still super young, and then we'll see what happens.
Twenty20Dollars
8/4/12 10:44:04PM
Lauzon has won quite a few bonuses.
frizzzlecake
8/4/12 10:47:20PM
Does that give Lauzon the most OTN Bonuses?

Regardless love watchin' J-Lau looks like he improved his gas tank.
DrivenDavies15
8/4/12 10:56:52PM
Kinda thought Rua/Vera deserved FOTN but I guess they needed to make up for Lauzon missing his bonus last time lol.
isk
8/4/12 10:59:12PM
I think it's safe to say that everyone on the main card (and even some of the prelims) will be getting undisclosed bonuses. Great fights overall, especially for free TV.
george112
8/4/12 11:11:42PM
Thought it was UFC on Fox 4


Great night of fights. Better then the past few ppvs imo
Aether
8/4/12 11:23:12PM
Yahya should've gotten SOTN IMO. That was an excellent submission, rare, and a weird variation of it.
george112
8/4/12 11:29:59PM

Posted by Aether

Yahya should've gotten SOTN IMO. That was an excellent submission, rare, and a weird variation of it.



Agreed.

It's a popularity contest I'm telling you

Shame
kopower
8/4/12 11:54:21PM
Great night of fights. J-Lau's gas tank looked real good tonight. Thought he would gas for sure.

Rua is getting up there in age, and has taken a tremendous amount of damage the past few years. He still has an incredible chin, and will to win.

Vera really surprised me tonight. He went all out, and if it were an opponent with a lesser chin, he probably would have pulled out a W. Haven't seen that Brandon in a while.

Nice comeback fight for Swick. He looked a bit rusty, but good to see he still has finishing power.
emfleek
8/5/12 12:14:14AM

Posted by kopower

Rua is getting up there in age



He's only 30, bro!
FastKnockout
8/5/12 12:32:04AM

Posted by DrivenDavies15

Kinda thought Rua/Vera deserved FOTN but I guess they needed to make up for Lauzon missing his bonus last time lol.



Rua, Vera, and Varner gassed but Varner still kept up a decent pace while Rua/Vera lacked in action at times due to exaustion.

EDIT: And I know Rua/Vera made it to the 4th round, but Rua was gassed baaad after the 1st. lol
infestructure
8/5/12 12:43:15AM

Posted by george112


Posted by Aether

Yahya should've gotten SOTN IMO. That was an excellent submission, rare, and a weird variation of it.



Agreed.

It's a popularity contest I'm telling you

Shame



I know . How often do you see a north south choke? Yahya was robbed.
deck15
8/5/12 12:55:28AM
Its rare to see a prelim fight to get a bonus unless the main card doesnt pan its just the nature of the fight game.
tmas
8/5/12 1:08:41AM
great nigh tof fights really impressed with Vera i said coming into the fight i thought he could strike with Rua and i was right, Rua didnt really want to stand and trade with im, and i agree had it been someone with less of a chin he would have won easy, he had Rua hurt but Rua just has a crazy awesome chin.
Manak
8/5/12 1:17:19AM
this card was badass, this was better than the last ppv for me, I love it when cards on free tv go all out. these guys were leaving everything out on the mat. awesome, wish more fighters would take notes on how to go for the kill instead of point fighting. I want to be entertained dammit
prozacnation1978
8/5/12 1:51:44AM
Just got back from los Angeles
Fights were awesome.

Lauzon vs varner is fight of the year candidate
aussiemma
8/5/12 4:18:12AM

Posted by prozacnation1978

Just got back from los Angeles
Fights were awesome.

Lauzon vs varner is fight of the year candidate



my thoughts aswell, awesome back and forth fight !

they should have made this the ppv card and next weeks ufc 150 the free to air.

State_Champ
8/5/12 8:04:53AM

Posted by infestructure


Posted by george112


Posted by Aether

Yahya should've gotten SOTN IMO. That was an excellent submission, rare, and a weird variation of it.



Agreed.

It's a popularity contest I'm telling you

Shame



I know . How often do you see a north south choke? Yahya was robbed.



All of the above
kopower
8/5/12 10:08:50AM

Posted by emfleek


Posted by kopower

Rua is getting up there in age



He's only 30, bro!



Shit. Didn't realize that. Dude looks like he's 40.
isk
8/5/12 1:49:52PM
Here's a scary thought: Joe Lauzon has 22 victories. All of them are by stoppage. I've always known his ability as a finisher, but I didn't know the exact stats until now.

I totally agree that Rani's north/south was a strong contender for sub of the night based on its own merits. But I think Lauzon's choke is pretty great as well, especially considering how much damage he took before. Varner hits hard, and he landed a lot of body shots.
scoozna
8/5/12 2:15:01PM
Good write-up there isk.
I was surprised at how much cardio Lauzon had going into rd3. I don't like Varner, but he put up a hell of a fight on short notice. I agree with the fight-of-the year sentiment.

Twenty20Dollars
8/5/12 6:22:55PM
Jon Anik ?@Jon_Anik
So @JoeLauzon won his 9th + 10th post-fight bonuses last night in 13 career UFC appearances. Heads back to the Bean w/ an extra $100K.



Wowerz

But on the other side Lauzon has struggled against contenders and putting a good win streak together, but who cares. The guy is a finisher and one of my fav's.
isk
8/5/12 7:47:34PM
Something else to like about this card - in the post fight press conference linked here , check out the courtesy and respect between Shogun and Machida.
187
8/5/12 10:16:54PM

Posted by Aether

Yahya should've gotten SOTN IMO. That was an excellent submission, rare, and a weird variation of it.



no way, lauzon's triangle was way better he had to react in a heart beat to catch that thing in the scramble, then to hold varner in it when he looked like he was doing everything correctly to escape. it was way more impressive than the north-south.

Aether
8/5/12 11:07:59PM
Ehhhhhhhhhh....

yeah, agree to disagree, I guess. Triangles are a dime a dozen. It's like giving SOTN to an armbar when there's a modified gogoplata on the same card. Yahya's grappling display was light years ahead of Lauzon's IMO.
hymiekooken
8/6/12 1:07:44AM
Loved seeing Swick back in there, he had me worried in the first round, but defended well and survived. I loved the KO, 3 presice shots to the jawbone, all landing in the same spot. I dont think he was trying to overdo it, he was just making sure he had it.
Bader didnt fight very smart against Machida, and suffered the consequences. Machida looked great though. Brandon Vera actually showed up, looked better than I have seen him in awhile. Mad props to Shogun for scoring the KO even though he seemed tired, I love a late round finish.
Lauzon and Varner, what a fight !!!!! Can we say rematch !!!!!!!!
187
8/6/12 9:06:37AM

Posted by Aether

Ehhhhhhhhhh....

yeah, agree to disagree, I guess. Triangles are a dime a dozen. It's like giving SOTN to an armbar when there's a modified gogoplata on the same card. Yahya's grappling display was light years ahead of Lauzon's IMO.



really? it was hardly a standard triangle choke though.. he got taken down with the double leg, hit the butterfly sweep, then as varner was trying to scramble out he dived in 'all or nothing' style. Varner posted knee in ass trying to pull out, but lauzon controlled the arm to hold him in then closed the triangle up with his own arms.

i couldn't rate a by the numbers north-south choke over that just because they aren't as common in the ufc. but hey my opinion is clearly the less popular here, so maybe i'm wrong..
Aether
8/6/12 9:28:30AM
Well it's subjective, there's not really a right or wrong answer to this question. It was a nice triangle, but for me, the whole sequence from Yahya being in full guard, passing, spinning to the top, and then the fact that he applied a strange variation of the choke that I've never seen made it more impressive to me, personally.
Pookie
8/6/12 9:43:20AM
Yahya hit a Dragon Sleeper. SOTC
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