Nam Phan and Cole Miller Wage War: UFC on FOX 4 Preliminary Card Rundown

Jim Genia

It was a mixed bag of results for the bouts on the UFC on FOX 4 preliminary card, which aired live on Fuel TV prior to the main card broadcast on FOX, and in terms of action, the six bouts delivered.

  • In the first fight of the evening, flyweight scrapper John Moraga utilized his well-credentialed wrestling chops to prevent jiu-jitsu specialist Ulysses "Useless" Gomez from bringing the fight to the ground, and once Moraga found his groove on the feet, he lit Gomez up with a storm of short punches and elbows against the cage.  Gomez crumbled under the onslaught, giving Moraga the win via knockout at 3:46 of the first round.

  • In featherweight action, dueling judoka Manvel Gamburyan and Michihiro Omigawa took turns blasting each other in the striking exchanges — Gamburyan dinging the Japanese fighter with a flying knee, a well-timed high-kick, and various punches, Omigawa tagging the Armenian with a torrent of jabs and crosses.  But the TUF 5 runner-up found success with his takedowns, and though Omigawa was usually back up in an instant, points were scored.  When time ran out, the judges gave Gamburyan the well-deserved unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
  • Heavyweight Brit Oli Thompson may have had the advantage in terms of muscle, but fellow UK product Phil De Fries seemed unfazed.  Rocking Thompson in the first with a decent portion of fist-salad, De Fries established early on just how dangerous he could be, and when he began mixing in an aggressive ground assault, for Thompson things went from bad to worse.  The ending sequence came when De Fries got his foe down, secured back-control and applied a face crank; Thompson tapped out at 4:16 of Round Two.

  • Featherweight Josh Grispi needed a win in his return bout against jiu-jitsu expert Rani Yahya, but he made the mistake of playing the Brazilian's game and it cost him.  From takedown to guard pass to North/South choke submission, it was all Yahya, and Grispi was forced to tap out at 3:15 of the first round.
  • The light-heavyweight contest between wrestler Phil Davis and Brazilian Muay Thai specialist Wagner Prado ended in the most unsatisfying way possible.  In one of the first full-fledged striking exchanges on the feet, Davis accidentally put his fingers in Prado's eye.  Prado was instantly in pain, and the blood around his eye was enough for the doctor to call it.  The bout was rendered a "no decision" at 1:28 of Round One.
  • The "main event" of the preliminary card, which saw ultra-tough featherweights Cole Miller and Nam Phan throw down, did not disappoint in terms of pace and violence.  Eschewing their vast collective jiu-jitsu experience for the opportunity to stand and box, Miller and Phan battered each other relentlessly for all three rounds.  In the first, Phan quickly overcame Miller's sizeable reach advantage to repeatedly land a vicious left hook to the chin. But Miller made adjustments by the time Round Two rolled around, and his straight rights began knocking Phan's head back over and over again.  The final frame saw no abatement in the dogfight, and when time ran out, the judges gave the split decision to Phan (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).

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