Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera
Herb Dean is the third man in for this one. Vera throws a quick pair of body kicks. Rua throws a kick. Vera goes for a knee, but Rua catches him and takes him down. He's in Vera's half-guard. Vera doing a good job tying up "Shogun." Rua tries to work into side control. Both guys back to their feet. Rua throws a high kick. They clinch, "Shogun" tries for a slam but walks into a guillotine choke. Rua trying to stay patient, but his head is turning a deep red. Rua escapes and ends up in Vera's guard. Rua throws a right. Rua unleashes several left hands. Vera ties up "Shogun." They're still on the ground in the final minute. Rua transitions to Vera's back. Rua landing punches, Vera with an elbow from the bottom.
A slugfest early, with Vera getting the worst of the onslaught. Vera just looks outclassed. As soon as I type that, Vera rifles a big counter elbow. Vera now starting to score with his striking. Vera catches Rua coming in with a right. But "Shogun" responds and he's landing knees. Vera covers up. Rua grabs a headlock. Vera down on one knee with Rua on his back. Vera gets back up. Vera goes for a high kick. Crazy round and we're only midway through. Rua cut around his right temple. Crowd is electric as they exchange haymakers and then clinch. A big "Vera" chant in the crowd. Vera with a takedown. Vera in half-guard as the two posture for position in the final minute. Vera with knees to "Shogun's" side.
Huge "Vera" chant from the crowd to start the round. Vera catches Rua with a running knee and we've got a Greco stalemate along the fence. Rua's clearly tired. Rua tries a single leg, doesn't get it, Vera goes for a knee and Rua pushes him off. Rua with a combo, Vera responds in kind. Rua grabs a headlock and connects with a knee to the head as Vera's on the way down. Can't do anything with it, though, as Vera ties him up. Rua stands and connects with a big left. Vera shakes it off, gets back to his feet, and comes out swinging. Rua checks a Vera high kick. Vera starting to connect with Muay Thai strikes, Rua manages to take Vera down. Vera does a good job tying up Rua, but Rua finally lands a couple rights. Round ends on the ground.
Four-punch combo, a low kick, and a knee by Vera. Positional scrum along the fence, as they clinch. Rua lands a couple knees. Two minutes in and we're still mainly in a clinch battle. Rua throws a knee and returns to center. Vera with a two-inch combo, a low kick, and a knee. Vera throws and elbow, Rua responds and it ends up with Rua body locking Vera along the fence. Two minutes left. Back to center with 90 seconds left. Rua throws a couple punches and Rua counters. Rua connects, lands an uppercut, a flurry of punches, and that's it, Dean waves the fight off.
Mauricio Rua def. Brandon Vera via TKO at 4:09 of round four.
I heard wave cheering from here!
I like both these fighters, I was surprised Shogun was so gassed but he definitely had the killer instinct and finished Brandon with some bombs. In fairness, I thought Brandon was going to lose in the first round under the onslaught of punches and knees thrown by Shogun and he held on. But he never seemed to take advantage of his opportunities to finish Rua when he had them. I think he couldn't see out of his left eye either. From the interview I'm listening to right now, sounds like Dana will give him another fight.