Lyoto Machida Earns the UFC Light Heavyweight Title Shot Again

Good news for Machida’s fans! The 34 year old fighter from Belem, Brazil has earned himself a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight title again after defeating former TUF winner Ryan Bader in just the second round of their fight last Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Machida will now face the winner of UFC 151’s main event which is between current champion Jon Jones and challenger Dan Henderson.

UFC President Dana White has announced after last Saturday’s UFC on Fox 4 that Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida will wait to see who will win over Jones and Henderson.

Remember that Machida already faced Jones but he lost top him through a technical submission in UFC 140 last December 2011. His defeat early at less than five minutes of round 2.

Lyoto Machida has been an impressive fighter having 18 wins and 3 losses on his fight card. He stands tall at 6’ 1” and at 204 pounds. He has been one of the toughest contenders at the light heavyweight division defeating fighters like Ryan Bader last August 4 at the UFC on Fox 4 and Randy Couture at the UFX 129 last April 2011. It is also important to note that before he lost to Mauricio Rua at the UFC 113 in May 2010, he has a consistent 16 wins from different fighters most of them wins over unanimous decisions and technical knockouts. Either Jon Jones or Dan Henderson will be a perfect opponent for Machida who has seen great fights over the years.

Jon Jones is another prized fighter that will prove to be a great challenge for Machida. “Bones” is just 25 years old and stands 6’4” at 205 pounds. He has 16 impressive wins with only 1 loss to his name. He has 7 straight wins over great fighters like Rashed Evans, Machida himself,  Quinton Jackson, Mauricio Rua, Ryan Bader, Vladimir Matyushenko and Brandon Vera. His only loss was with Matt Hamil at the UFC – The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale in December 2009.

And don’t forget that Don Henderson is also a worthy fighter to note of. Dan “Hendo” Henderson is 41 years old from Temecula, California and stands 6’1” at 204 pounds. He has 29 wins and only 8 losses to his card; he has four straight wins from impressive fighters like Rafael Cavalcante, Renato Sobral, Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko.

Ryan Bader KO’d by Lyoto Machida

Ryan Bader made it to the second round before he got knocked cold by Lyoto Machida. Bader couldn’t have looked more frustrated as the fight wore on. With inefficient attempts to get close enough to even hit Machida, let alone go for a takedown, Bader instead tried to rush him. At the end Machida called it right and knocked Bader out with his right hand in the second round at 1:32.

With a slow start behind him, Machida tried to draw in Bader using hand movements and was then able to kick Bader in the body and left him marked up. There was no doubt left that Machida owned this fight and it was only a matter of time before we’d see Bader go down.

This was a big win for Machida since Dana White said earlier that a title fight would go to one of the four light-heavyweights in the main card that were the most impressive. This means that Bader’s out but Brandon Vera and Mauricio Rua are still in the running.

After the fight Machida was pleased with his performance and said that he was feeling very well. He also added, “The Dragon’s back.”

Bader now sits at 14-3 after his last two wins while Machida is at 18-3 since his last fight loss to Jones.

This was more of a blink-your-eyes-and-it’s-over type of match and while you couldn’t say that it was the most dominating fight by Machida he certainly seemed to control things from the start. Bader couldn’t connect with a serious strike and as soon as he did make his move it was over.

In all likelihood Machida will end up being the number one contender for the light heavyweight UFC title. It’s unlikely that Vera or Rua will have a victory that’s more dominant than what was seen in this fight.

UFC 140 Post-fight Press Conference (Video)

Dana White took the stage shortly after UFC 140 Jones vs Machida to announce bonus, attendance and answer questions. The Korean Zombie [Read more...]