UFC 104 blog: Machida beats Rua

BY foxsports • October 25, 2009

Inside Fights' Jeremy Botter was at Staples Center blogging from UFC 104 on Saturday night. Get his take on the action from Los Angeles.

Main card

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua

    A Rua victory here would be a gigantic upset. People talk all the time about the "Pride Shogun", and while that version of Shogun was a great fighter, I believe that today's Lyoto Machida would have still beaten that Shogun handily. Machida is simply on a different level than everyone else in his division except for training partner Anderson Silva, and I believe it will take a lucky strike tonight from Rua to win the championship from The Dragon.

    Round 1: Shogun misses with a kick. Shogun moves in and gets kneed four times for his trouble. The crowd is very much behind Machida. Shogun already has a welt under his left eye. Shogun with a clinch against the cage. Rua with an knee to Machida's inner thigh. Machida gets away. Machida with a running knee to Shogun, but Rua clinches against the cage again. Machida gets away. Rua with a kick to Machida's body. Both men have bright red marks on their ribcages from kicks. Rua misses with a big kick. Machida lands a big left and a big leg kick. Shogun nails Machida with a nice hook. Rua with a leg kick. That might have been the first round that Machida ever lost in the UFC, but it was a close one.

    Round 2: Rua lands a good straight left. Machida sends Shogun reeling with a punch combo. Machida is trying to bait Shogun into something with a feint, but it's not working thus far. Shogun goes for a takedown, but Machida stuffs it. Rua lands two rib kicks. Machida with his own body kick. He's being very cautious in trying to stay away from Rua's strikes. Rua runs in with a stutter step but Machida catches him with a counter, and then Shogun tries it again and gets countered again. Shogun clinches him against the cage and they exchange knees as the round ends.

    Round 3: Shogun lands a big right followed by a body kick, and then dodges a Machida counter body kick. Machida has a big bruise on his stomach. Shogun shoots for a takedown but it's stuffed. Shogun is certainly the aggressor in this fight, though that should be no surprise given Machida's history. The crowd is now chanting for Shogun, and he answers by pressing forward and landing a combo of leg kicks. Machida moves forward and they exchange punches wildly, and the crowd erupts. Both men landed great shots in that one. The round ends.

    Round 4: The crowd is alternating chanting between Shogun and Machida. Shogun lands a leg kick. Not entirely sure what Machida is waiting on here, but he may be waiting too long. Shogun with a body kick. Machida lands a head kick that is partially blocked. Machida trips and falls and Shogun shoots for the takedown but gets stuffed. Shogun hits a left standing elbow. Rua hits a great knee to the body.

    I would score this bout 3-1 in favor of Shogun right now. Machida needs a knockout or submission, or he's in danger of losing the fight.

    Round 5: Shogun lands a big body kick and a leg kick that nearly takes Machida off his feet. Shogun comes in with his trademark wild swinging punches, but Machida dodges them all. Machida looks pretty lethargic tonight, definitely not as sharp as I've seen him. Machida is bleeding from the mouth. Machida clinches against the cage, but Herb Dean breaks them up quickly. Shogun with a body kick. Shogun with a leg kick. Shogun clinches against the cage, but separates and lands a combo of punches. The crowd is firmly behind Shogun now as he's on the verge of a gigantic upset. Shogun lands two more punches. Machida is nearly lifeless right now. Just no energy, no fire, no nothing. They trade punches and the fight is over.

    Machida defeated Rua by unanimous decision.

    The crowd is not happy about this one. I'm in disbelief.

  • Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell

    Round 1: Both men standing and trading. Velasquez shoots for a takedown, Rothwell avoids it, but Velasquez trips him. Rothwell scrambles to get up, but Velasquez maintains control. Rothwell gets up, but Velasquez slams him, only to see Rothwell get up again. Velasquez tags Rothwell with a big right. Velasquez with a leg kick. Velasquez with a takedown and ends up in side control. He starts raining down bombs and then moves to a north-south position briefly. Rothwell gets to his feet and lands a big right. Velasquez gets another takedown and starts dropping big punches, but Rothwell survives. Rothwell does not want to be on the ground right now. Velasquez briefly gets a full mount before standing to his feet. Velasquez lands big hammer fists. Velasquez flips Rothwell to the mat and then lands continuous punches. He is overwhelming Rothwell here, but Rothwell gets back to his feet. The round ends.

    Round 2: Rothwell tries a head kick. Velasquez takes him down again and lands more big shots. Velasquez lands several big shots to the unprotected face of Rothwell, and the ref steps in. Rothwell is furious, protesting that it's an early stoppage.

    Velasquez defeated Rothwell by TKO in Round 2.

  • Gleison Tibau vs. Josh Neer

    Round 1: Neer advances but Tibau gets a big takedown. It doesn't last long, however, as Neer gets to his feet quickly. Tibau gets another big takedown, this time against the cage and lands in the butterfly guard. Neer gets back to his feet again. Neer's mouthpiece falls out, so they stop the fight to retrieve it before starting it up again. And Tibau immediately gets another takedown, but Neer gets back to his feet again. Neer lands a few shots before Tibau takes him down again. Neer gets back to his feet. Tibau would probably be scoring points with these takedowns if he didn't allow Neer to get back to his feet so quickly.

    Round 2: Tibau starts off the round with another takedown, but Neer is back up immediately. They exchange punches before Neer gets taken down again, but he's back up immediately yet again. Tibau with yet another takedown. The crowd is starting to get restless. Tibau gets the full mount and then takes Neer's back. They're standing up now. Tibau moves it into a modified flying armbar and nearly gets it, but Neer reverses and gets back to his feet. That would have been one of the all-time classic submissions if Tibau had been able to finish it. Tibau is exhausted though. Tibau gets stuffed on a takedown attempt for the first time tonight.

    Round 3: Neer will probably need a finish in this round to take the fight. Tibau gets a takedown, but guess what? If you guessed "Neer gets back up", you've won tonight's prize. Neer lands a good right standing elbow. Neer stuffs a takedown. Neer wants to hit Tibau, but hasn't been able to do that thus far. But that hasn't stopped him from trying, and it's not going to be enough. Tibau gets another takedown. The tape on Neer's left hand glove comes undone, and they stop the bout to take it off. Neer finally lands a decent punch, but Tibau immediately takes him down. Is there a record for most takedowns in a UFC fight? I'd like to know what it is, because we may have surpassed it tonight. Neer gets back up, but Tibau takes him down again. The natives are getting restless here at the Staples Center as the fight ends.

    Tibau defeated Neer by unanimous decision.

  • Joe Stevenson vs. Spencer Fisher

    Round 1: We go through a feeling out process for the first minute of the fight, with both guys testing their range without throwing for much power. Stevenson lands a left that opens a small cut on Fisher's right eyebrow. Stevenson is smiling. Stevenson shoots but Fisher stuffs it. Stevenson walks Fisher to the cage for a clinch. Stevenson is still working a takedown without any luck. The Staples Center crowd starts booing the lack of action until ref Herb Dean breaks it up for a restart in the center of the cage. Fisher lands a right hook and then a left hook. Stevenson shoots but Fisher stuffs it until Stevenson moves to his back. Stevenson is looking for a guillotine but stands up and begins raining down punches on Fisher's head until the bell rings to end the first round.

    Round 2: Fisher lands a left. Stevenson finally gets a takedown and lands in the guard. Stevenson postures up and lands a couple of shots, then goes for a leg lock but doesn't get it. Stevenson moves to side control and throws a few glancing elbows. Stevenson is trying to pull a Brock Lesnar here by putting his right knee on Fisher's left arm in order to throw open shots, but it's not working quite as well as it did for Lesnar against Frank Mir at UFC 100. Stevenson lands a flurry of unanswered elbows that busts Fisher wide open, and Herb Dean stops the fight.

    Stevenson defeated Spencer Fisher by TKO in Round 2.

  • Anthony Johnson vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

    Johnson had a tough time making weight. It will certainly be interesting to see how the tough cut will affect Johnson, if at all.

    These two guys don't look like they're even in the same weight class. Well, they aren't, at least tonight. Johnson is landing bombs. Yoshida is trying to clinch, but can't. Johnson keeps landing power punches. Johnson connects with a strong right and knocks out Yoshida.

    Johnson defeated Yoshida by knockout in Round 1.


  • Ryan Bader defeated Eric Schafer by unanimous decision.

  • Pat Barry defeated Antoni Hardonk by knockout in Round 2.

  • Chael Sonnen defeated Yushin Okami by unanimous decision.

  • Jorge Rivera defeated Rob Kimmons by TKO in Round 3.

  • Kyle Kingsbury defeated Razak Al-Hassan by split decision.

  • Stefan Struve defeated Chase Gormley by submission in Round 1.

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