Posted on: May 9, 2010 12:15 am
Edited on: May 9, 2010 1:54 am
In the main event, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida defends his light heavyweight title against the man many believe was robbed out of a decision in their last fight, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
As the undercard fights were happening earlier tonight, word broke (via ESPN's Franklin McNeil) that an unnamed source said Rua injured his knee in training and will be fighting hurt.
Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole later commented on Twitter that Dana White denied the report. On one hand, If Rua was fighting hurt, I don't think he'd necessarily tell White (or anyone else) about it beforehand. And if White did know something, I wouldn't expect him to go chit-chatting about it on press row. I guess we'll know for sure once the fight starts.
Round 1: Shogun kicks the lead leg almost immediately. Machida's karate stance leaves him open to Rua's strategy. Rua throws a three-punch combo, landing two of them clean. Leg kicks from both guys. Rua tries for a takedown and Machida turns it around on him. Rua sweeps and gets back to his feet, clinching Machida against the fence. They separate and Rua pushes forward quickly with a flurry of fists. A right hand looks to have stunned Machida briefly.
Rua with another takedown attempt and Machida ends up on top, again. They stand and Machida lands a couple of good knees to the body. Rua with a head kick, Machida blocks it. Rua with a big right hand that sends Machida to the canvas. Rua unloads on him from the top, eventually knocking Machida out cold. Your new UFC light heavyweight champion is Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, and he did it in very convincing fashion. So much for a bum knee.
Winner: Mauricio Rua defeats Lyoto Machida via KO due to strikes at 3:35 of Round 1 to win the UFC light heavyweight title.
Posted on: October 25, 2009 12:03 am
Edited on: October 25, 2009 1:01 am
Undefeated UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida defends his title against challenger Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the main event of UFC 104.
Round 1: Shogun with a kick to the body. Machida with four knees from a Muay Thai clinch before they separate. Machida with another knee from the clinch as Shogun shoots in for a takedown. Shogun holding Machida against the fence, throwing knees to the thighs. Machida breaks free. Machida throws a high kick and Shogun connects on a low kick counter. Shogun tries for a takedown. They're against the fence again and Machida breaks free. Machida with an outside leg kick. Shogun rushes in with a punch-kick combo, but Machida eludes it. Machida with an inside leg kick, and Shogun answers it with an outside leg kick. Shogun is attacking every opening Machida leaves, even if he has to chase him to land it. Big leg kick by Shogun. Counterstrike right hand by Shogun. body kick by Shogun. Machida lunges in with a left jab. The round ends, and on my scorecard, the streak ends: 10-9 Shogun.
Round 2: Machida with a straight body kick and Rua counters with a fist. Shogun follows up with a leg kick. Machida with a very hard straight left to Rua's face, which backs him up for a second. Shogun whiffs on a head kick. Machida lands another left. Shogun ducks in for a takedown attempt and Machida times a knee to the head perfectly. Shogun fails to get the takedown. Machida with an outside leg kick. Body kick by Shogun. Machida with a body kick of his own. They both throw knees to the body at the same time, blocking each other. Shogun with a nice body kick but Machida stuffs the takedown attempt that follows. Shogun clinches Machida against the fence and Machida throws some knees to the ribs. Shogun attacks Machida's thighs with knees as the round ends. I'd narrowly give this round to Machida, 10-9.
Round 3: Shogun with another big body kick. Machida's side is totally red at this point. Leg kick by Shogun. Shogun mixes up the body kicks, switching from side to side as Machida changes his stance. Huge body kick by Machida. Rua with a kick and Machida counters with a fist. Shogun shoots for a takedown, doesn't get it, but smashes Machida with an elbow to the head on the break. Yet another big body kick by Shogun. The crowd is now chanting for Shogun, sensing that he's got a chance to win this. Machida with a body kick. Shogun chases Machida down with a big leg kick and Machida takes a clinch for a knee strike to counter. Machida backs Shogun up against the fence and unloads with fists and kicks. Shogun answers back with fists, including a hard right, and finally ties up Machida. The round ends. 10-9 Shogun heading into the championship rounds.
Round 4: Both men are being very measured in their strikes, cautious of the other's ability to counter. Shogun throws an inside leg kick and Machida answers with a one-two fist combo as Shogun blocks. Body kick by Shogun. Head kick by Machida is blocked by Shogun. Shogun with a takedown attempt at the fence, but it's a stalemate. Huge leg kick by Shogun and Machida fires back with three straight punches. Shogun with a left fist into a tie-up. He lands a short elbow on the break. Knee to the body and leg kick by Shogun. another leg kick by Shogun. The round ends, and Machida looks more tired and beaten up than Shogun does. 10-9 Shogun.
Round 5: If the judges agree with me, then Machida needs to finish Shogun in this round to keep his title. Shogun with more leg and body kicks. Machida countering with fists, but Shogun knows they're coming and blocks. Body kick by Shogun. Machida with a body kick. Shogun walks right into a big knee, but avoids a follow-up knee and ties up with Machida on the fence. The referee breaks it up for inactivity with two minutes left. Body kick by Shogun, followed by an inside leg kick. Machida with a knee to the body, and Shogun answers with a short elbow to the head. The crowd chants for Shogun again. Machida misses on a high kick. Machida throws a knee and Shogun blocks it, then attacks with fists. Left hand by Shogun and the buzzer sounds. Both men raise their arms, but I have to think Shogun just won the title. 10-9 Shogun, so I score the bout 49-46 for Mauricio Rua. We'll see what the judges think.
Winner: Lyoto Machida defeats Mauricio "Shogun" Rua via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) after five rounds to remain UFC light heavyweight champion.
Wow. The crowd boos the decision.
Machida evaded the question on whether he thought he deserved the decision, saying all three judges said he earned the victory. But he was open to a rematch.
"Whenever," Machida said. "Whenever he wants, I try again. No problem."
"My corner told me that I was winning all the rounds," Rua said through an interpreter after the loss. "I feel like I won this fight, but a fight is a fight. What can I do."
There are several things to take away from this. Firstly, this was Mauricio Rua's best performance in a long, long time, and he deserves a rematch.
Secondly, this illustrates that perhaps Machida has earned a little bit of champion's favoritism, in that he needs to be completely dominated or finished in order to lose. If Machida and Shogun were two midcarders fighting, would Machida still have won that decision? Or was he given the benefit of the doubt due to not being finished or seriously rocked?
Lastly -- are leg and body kicks given enough credit on scorecards? Shogun didn't attack Machida's head very much, but after a full 25 minutes of successfully going after the legs and body, was he hurting his score purely due to that strategy? Does somebody need to knock Machida out cold in order to get credit for winning the standup battle?
I'm interested in your thoughts, so fire away.