Lyoto Machida and Shogun have many things in common.
Besides being compatriots, the two Brazilians have been champions of the light heavyweight category of the UFC.
Machida lost the belt to Shogun in the second duel between the two after the first was considered a battle with unjust outcome in favor of Machida.
On the first defense of the belt, the Curitiba native was overwhelmed by Jon Jones, losing the title.
Recovered from the loss to Shogun, Machida was then face to face with Bones, when he was submitted by the American and missed the chance to regain the belt.
In the afternoon of this Saturday, in Los Angeles, Machida and Shogun met again for another edition of UFC.
In a packed Staples Center, the two Brazilians wanted the same thing: regain the right to challenge the winner of the next light heavyweight title battle, between Jones and Dan Henderson.
To do this, they needed to win and win big!!
First Machida and then Shogun they both reached their goals.
Machida used perfectly the already famous karate distance to annul the game of Ryan Bader and force him to do just what he could not do, which was run into the Brazilian.
A perfect punch to the chin ended the fight in R2.
“The dragon is back!” Machida said in an interview with Joe Rogan, but the world already knew.
In the final fight of UFC on Fox 4, another one of those traditional performances by Shogun.
Great disposition, very technical in his striking, no fear and a fitness always troubling.
In R1, Shogun took Brandon Vera down, hit from inside of his guard, took his back, but could not get the sub.
In R2, a standing fight with the Brazilian always more efficient, with more accurate shots, but without the punch needed to finish the fight.
It was so in the R3 and R4 that the ghost of running out of gas came around again, with Brandon Vera having some good moments.
That was when Shogun finally hit the target.
A beautiful combination of cross punches almost ripped the mouthpiece of Vera, who was bewildered to the ground.
Shogun forced referee Herb Dean to stop the fight with a few more punches on the ground.
In the interview, he acknowledged that he got a bit tired, but stressed: “The important thing was to win and I did it!”
At the press conference, UFC boss Dana White completed the list of big news of the night: “Machida will fight the winner of Henderson vs. Jones. He showed me that he wants this fight more than Shogun does.”
Asked what would change in his training for a new confrontation with Jones, Lyoto was frank: “My camp for the first fight was great, but I think we have to improve my wrestling. But it is too early to think about it.”
Elegant, Shogun did not regret the preference for Machida to fight for the title: “I respect the decision. Fighting is my life and I will keep doing it.”
Dana did not reveal what are his plans for Shogun: “I have not decided, but we’ll think about the next challenge for Mauricio.”
White also announced that the fight of the night was Joe Lauzon vs. Jaime Varner, the best submission bonus went to Joe Lauzon amd the best KO bonus went to Mike Swick.
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