It was a very good night for Joe Lauzon.
Not only did he and Jamie Varner put on such an amazing show that they each earned $50,000 for Fight of the Night, but Lauzon’s third-round triangle choke was awarded Submission of the Night — which means an extra $50,000 for the lightweight from Boston.
Welterweight Mike Swick, fighting for the first time in 2 1/2 years after suffering from esophageal spasms, won Knockout of the Night and $50,000 for his giant right that rocked a downed DaMarques Johnson in the second round.
The UFC on Fox 4 card Saturday at Staples Center drew an announced attendance of 16,080 and a live gate of $1.1 million, according to UFC president Dana White.
UFC on Fox 4 featured two light heavyweight fights: Mauricio Rua vs. Brandon Vera in the main event and Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader in the co-main event. Whichever winner posted the more impressive victory would receive a title shot.
Rua got a fourth-round TKO after Machida came up with a second-round TKO. White ended up awarding the title shot to Machida.
This was the third visit to Los Angeles for the promotion, which held UFC 60 in 2006 and UFC 104 in 2009 at Staples Center .
UFC 60 drew 14,802 fans and UFC 104 pulled in 14,892. Those cards, however, were pay-per-view events. Saturday’s card was aired free on FUEL TV and Fox.
The television numberss won’t be released until Monday, though the company points out that UFC on Fox 4 was going up against a ratings blockbuster in the London Olympics.
Manny Gamburyan, acknowledging L.A. is a champions town, said he was under some pressure from friends to keep up the winning.
And in a salute to the Kings, Gamburyan said he had a plan to represent the Stanley Cup champions.
“I was going to come out with the jersey, the helmet, the stick,” Gamburyan said after his unanimous-decision victory over Michihiro Omigawa. “The Kings gave me a jersey with Gamburyan on the back and the number 12 for 2012, but the UFC turned it down.”
Fighting in front of family and friends, Hollywood’s Manny Gamburyan ended his three-fight losing streak with an impressive unanimous-decision victory over Michihiro Omigwa on the undercard of UFC on Fox 4 at Staples Center on Saturday.
The judges scored the featherweight bout 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 for Gamburyan (14-8), who trains out of Hayastan MMA Academy in North Hollywood.
After a sluggish first round in which Omigawa (13-12-1) briefly floored Gamburyan with a left to the jaw, the action picked up in the second round. Two minutes in, Gamburyan took Omigwa down twice, only to have the Japanese judo expert pop right back up. Gamburyan managed to land a third takedown, get Omigawa’s back and lock in a leg triangle. After trying for a rear-naked choke, Gamburyan lost the ground control but caught Omigawa with a quick right hand.
The third round easily was the best round of the fight. Gamburyan started it with a tremendous head kick that rocked Omigawa. Crisp punches and two more head kicks kept Omigawa off guard. Another Gamburyan takedown was followed by Omigawa rising quickly to his feet and going for a guillotine choke. Gamburyan escaped, held on and hoisted Omigwa for a big slam with 1:22 left in the round.
After Omigawa got up, Gamburyan picked him up and slammed him again. Omigawa made one last attempt at a guillotine choke, but Gamburyan broke free and reset with 20 seconds left, with the crowd applauding the fighters for their efforts.
In the opening fight, flyweight John Moraga (11-1) made a stunning debut in the Octagon by knocking out Ulysses Gomez (9-3) at 3:46 of the first round.
British heavyweights Phil De Fries (9-1) and Oli Thompson (9-4) slogged through an uninspiring first round before De Fries started popping Thompson and finished it at 4:16 of the second round with a rear-nked choke.
UFC ON FOX 4
Saturday at Staples Center
Main card (5 p.m., Ch. 11)
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (20-6) vs. Brandon Vera (12-5), light heavyweights
Lyoto Machida (17-3) vs. Ryan Bader (15-2), light heavyweights
Joe Lauzon (20-7) vs. Jamie Varner (20-6-1), lightweights
Mike Swick (14-4) vs. DaMarques Johnson (18-10), welterweights
Preliminary card (2 p.m., FUEL TV)
Cole Miller (18-6) vs. Nam Phan (17-11), featherweights
Phil Davis (9-1) vs. Wagner Prado (8-0), light heavyweights
Josh Grispi (14-3) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7), featherweights
Phil De Fries (8-1) vs. Oli Thompson (9-3), heavyweights
Manny Gamburyan (13-8) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (13-11-1), featherweights
Ulysses Gomez (9-2) vs. John Moraga (10-1), flyweights
With the London Olympics dominating a lot of the headlines, UFC light heavyweight Dan Henderson was asked whether he’d like to see mixed martial arts become an Olympic sport.
“I would love see it in the Olympics. It would have to be a tournament format,” said Henderson, who competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling. “The rules would have to change … with the cuts guys get, maybe take out the elbows. Maybe shorten the fights a bit.”