In a night where discrepancy won out, there was one thing UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and UFC president Dana White could all agree upon: a rematch between the two Brazilians, who came to blows at UFC 104 Saturday in Los Angeles, is in order.
Machida earned a unanimous decision over Rua in a cerebral tug-of-war that saw both give and take damage in controlled bursts through five rounds.
Judges Cecil Peoples and Marcos Rosales both awarded Machida the first three rounds and gave Rua the final two. Judge Nelson “Doc” Hamilton scored rounds one and five for Rua, but gave Machida the middle rounds. Scores were united at 48-47 in Machida’s favor.
Gauging by reaction, it seemed a majority of the crowd inside the Staples Center, as well as fans watching the live pay-per-view, disagreed with the final tallies. Internet boards swelled with reaction for Rua minutes after the decision was read.
Rua did better than anyone has ever fared against the karate-bred Machida, who’d never dropped a round in the UFC until Saturday. An aggressive, impulsive striker in the past, the one-time Pride grand prix champion reigned in his arsenal and was especially effective with a right body kick, which marked up Machida’s side and seemed to stifle his explosive counter-attacks.
“I thought ‘Shogun’ won the fight,” said White at the post-fight press conference.
White said he’d scored rounds one, four, and five for Rua and that the promotion already planned to schedule an “immediate rematch.” White added that he’d already gotten verbal commitments from both fighters. link