Machida, 'Shogun' to have rematch
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "To beat the man, you have to beat the man."
At Saturday's UFC 104, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua appeared to have certainly beat light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. The audience in the Staples Center, who started the bout firmly behind Machida, roundly booed when it was announced that all three judges had given the bout to Machida.
Rua discovered the antidote to Machida's karate style, punishing the undefeated champion over five rounds with hundreds of blistering leg and body kicks that left Machida slightly limping and sporting bright red bruises on his rib cage and right leg.
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When the decision was announced, Machida seemed surprised that he'd won the fight. The champion had no problem admitting that he wasn't happy with his performance.
"I would have liked to have performed better," Machida said, "but it's not always possible."
The boos Machida received both during and after the fight clearly affected him.
"Yes, it is upsetting. But it's motivation for me to come back next time, and I guarantee that you won't see this kind of performance from me again," said Machida.
A dejected Rua noted after the show that he felt he'd won the majority of the fight.
"I feel I was able to use my strategy well in the fight to do a good fight," Rua said. "My corner was telling me I was winning the fight and that is why I didn't press the action so much in the final rounds. I felt I was winning. Everyone who has spoken to me has told me they felt I won the fight."
It was a unique situation that required a unique reaction from the UFC, and president Dana White (who believed that Rua won the fight) announced after the show that there would be an immediate rematch between the two. It will be the first time the company has done an immediate rematch since the series of fights between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, and the fight will be made "sooner than later."
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Velasquez used a wrestling skill vastly superior to almost anyone in the heavyweight division to take the much bigger Rothwell to the mat at will. Once there, Velasquez used effective striking to batter the defenseless Rothwell, who had no answer for anything Velasquez brought to the table. Velasquez earned a second-round TKO on a referee stoppage after he landed six hard unanswered punches on the grounded Rothwell.