Normally we preview these preliminary card fights one-by-one, but for this event we'll do a primer for the whole prelims in one shot. There are several prominent fighters you will recognize, and a few more you probably aren't familiar with, so we'll summarize each matchup in a few sentences to prepare you for Fight Night.
The UFC on FOX 4 prelims are comprised of six fights spanning three different weight classes. It's a stronger lineup than even several recent PPV undercards, and the leading name is top 10 LHW Phil Davis. You can watch all the preliminary action on FUEL TV live at 5:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT. So without further ado, here's a rundown of all the fights:
The #6 ranked LHW according to the SB Nation MMA Consensus Rankings looks to get back in the win column against the Brazilian debutant Prado. Davis was in line for a title shot earlier this year but was outclassed by Rashad Evans. Prado is a Muay Thai specialist and has finished all but one opponent. Davis has a significant grappling and wrestling advantage, but Prado is easily the better striker. It's a contrast in styles and even though Davis is heavily favored you never know when an upset is in the cards.
"Magrinho" and Phan are in must-win mode, more so Phan, having lost his last two. Miller made his return to featherweight in March against Steven Siler but dropped a decision. He's yet to win three consecutive UFC fights. Phan meanwhile was savagely mauled by Jimy Hettes at UFC 141 after losing against Mike Brown. Both fighters are known for their very exciting styles and this should be no different.
Once scheduled to fight Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship, "The Fluke" is on the verge of a UFC exit. When Aldo pulled out due to injruy, Grispi was dominated on short-notice against Dustin Poirier and then performed poorly against George Roop later that year, losing by a body shot TKO. Yahya won his UFC debut against Mike Brown but was soundly outboxed by Chad Mendes last August. His striking deficiencies are well-documented but he is an ADCC 65kg champion, and has won all but 2 of his fights by submission. While the 23-year-old Grispi is the more well-rounded fighter and is no slouch on the ground himself, he should best avoid tangling with an accomplished grappler like Yahya if he wants to extend his UFC career. It is arguably the most intriguing bout on the preliminary card and it has so much on the line for both men.
See the rest after the jump, along with more coverage of UFC on FOX 4 on Bloody Elbow.
This All-English contest was originally scheduled for UFC 138 before Thompson was injured. De Fries won against Rob Broughton instead before a quick KO loss against Stipe Miocic this past February. Thompson lost his debut against Shawn Jordan in March in a back-and-forth fight that saw the former Britain's Strongest Man champion lose via TKO. The odds of a high-quality fight from unranked heavyweights is slim, but that doesn't mean this won't be a good scrap between two men looking to secure their spots on the UFC roster.
It's amazing how two men with a combined 3-10 UFC record are still here, but one of them most certainly won't be with a loss tonight. Gamburyan has not won a fight since his stunning KO over Mike Brown that saw him challenge Jose Aldo for the WEC Featherweight crown. Omigawa went 0-2 at LW in the UFC and reinvented himself at 145 lbs to the point of being a top 5 ranked FW when he returned to the UFC in 2011. Alas, he's 1-3 in his second stint and facing another cut. Both men are high-level Judo black belts, and hopefully that will be on display come fight time.
The submission specialist Gomez is in as a late replacement for Ian McCall. He's a former Tachi Palace Fights flyweight and bantamweight champion and has tremendous chokes. Moraga trains at MMA Lab in Arizona, home of UFC Lightweight champion Ben Henderson. He was a standout wrestler at Arizona State and his only professional loss was a narrow decision against John Dodson. Given the lack of fighters in the UFC's newest division, this is a huge fight for both men as they'll find themselves in title contention merely by winning.
More UFC on Fox 4 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow: