In the semi-main event at UFC on Fox 4, former UFC champion Lyoto Machida (17-3 MMA; 9-3 UFC) faces Ryan Bader (14-2 MMA; 7-2 UFC). This Light Heavyweight fight is the third of four main card fights to air on Fox. Machida is currently ranked #5 in the world according to the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, with Bader a few spots below him at #7. UFC on Fox 4 airs live on Fox Saturday night August 4 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
According to our rankings, this is a battle between two top 10 fighters, which is reason to be interested. Plus, Dana White stated that the winner here could be next in line for Jon Jones (or Dan Henderson) and the UFC Light Heavyweight title. But with both men sporting rather recent loses to to Jones, it's a little harder to get excited about either Lyoto or Bader as the new #1 contender. Still, this should be an interesting battle of Machida's technique vs. Bader's wrestling and power.
How do these two stack up?
Machida: 34 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach
Bader: 29 years old | 6'2" | 74" reach
What have these two done recently?
Machida: L - Jon Jones (Sub) | W - Randy Couture (KO) | L - Quinton Jackson (SD)
Bader: W - Quinton Jackson (UD) | W - Jason Brilz (KO) | L - Tito Ortiz (Sub)
How did these two get here?
Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida is a former Light Heavyweight champion who was, at one time, seen as potentially the dominant Light Heavyweight of the era - an unbeatable martial arts superman. But ever since his two battles with Shogun Rua, he's looked distinctly mortal, going just 1-2 since losing the belt. In fact, since winning the title in an amazing performance against Rashad Evans, his only wins have been a highly contested decision over Shogun, and a win over an aged Randy Couture in Couture's final fight. He did have some success against Jones in round 1 of their battle, but left that fight unconscious in a heap on the mat. If the Machida Era is going to return, it needs to happen now.
Ryan "Darth" Bader is a TUF champion who started his career impressively, going on a 12-0 run. But back to back loses last year against Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz really set him back. He's had two wins since then, including the biggest win of his career over Rampage in his last outing. Those wins have helped to put the Ortiz fight behind him, though that loss will likely color fan perception of him for quite some time. Bader is a good wrestler, with heavy hands and KO power, but some holes in his striking defense. Next to Jones, this is the toughest test of his career.
Why should you care?
Dana wants you to care because of the title implications, but frankly, I'm more interested just for the match-up. This could provide a fun clash of styles, and I'm intrigued to see who can best implement his game. Plus I am always a sucker for watching Lyoto do his thing.
More UFC on Fox 4 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
UFC On Fox 4 Weigh-In Video And Coverage - Tim Burke
UFC On Fox 4 Staff Picks And Predictions - Tim Burke
UFC On Fox 4: Lyoto Machida Vs. Ryan Bader Dissection - Dallas Winston
Rooting For Chaos And An Impressive Brandon Vera Win At UFC On Fox - Brent Brookhouse
UFC On FOX 4: Ryan Bader 'I Plan To Fight Smart And Fight To Win' - Steph Daniels
MMA Tete-A-Tete: Anderson Silva's Next Opponent, UFC On Fox 4 Preview, UFC's Broken Star-Making Apparatus - Nate Wilcox
UFC On Fox 4: Joe Lauzon Vs. Jamie Varner Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC On FOX 4: Five Fights To Watch To Be An Informed Viewer - David Castillo
UFC On Fox 4 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video And Coverage - Tim Burke
UFC On FOX 4: Mike Swick Sets Record Straight About 'Cracking' During Fight With Yushin Okami - Steph Daniels
UFC on Fox 4 Judo Chop: The Real Signature Moves of Lyoto Machida - Jack Slack
UFC On Fox 4: Mike Swick Vs. DaMarques Johnson Dissection - Dallas Winston
UFC On Fox 4: Shogun Vs. Vera Betting Lines - Tim Burke
UFC On Fox 4: Fuel TV Preliminary Card Dissection (Part Two) - Dallas Winston
UFC On Fox 4: Fuel TV Preliminary Card Dissection (Part One) - Dallas Winston
UFC On Fox Judo Chop: Ryan Bader's Defensive Mistake Vs. Tito Ortiz - Fraser Coffeen
How Dana White Can Really Solve The Jon Jones Dilemma In The UFC Light Heavyweight Division - David Castillo
FREE $100 UFC On Fox 4 Kountermove Fantasy Cash Tourney - Steph Daniels
UFC On Fox: Dana White Says Winner Of Lyoto Machida Vs. Ryan Bader Also In Running For Title Shot - Brent Brookhouse
UFC On Fox 4: In Promotion, The Truth Can Also Be A Good Story - Josh Nason
UFC On Fox 4: How Light Heavyweight Became The UFC's Most Shallow Division - Fraser Coffeen
Video: UFC on Fox 4 - Shogun Rua Vs. Brandon Vera Trailer - Anton Tabuena
UFC On Fox 4: Phil Davis Talks Training With Brandon Vera, Losing To Rashad Evans - Nate Wilcox
UFC on Fox 4 Judo Chop: The Weaknesses of Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua - Jack Slack
UFC On Fox 4 Fight Card: Shogun Vs. Vera - Tim Burke