How good is this UFC on Fox 4 card?!
In the co-main event of the evening, we saw our first of two premier light heavyweight fights, with Lyoto Machida taking on former The Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader.
Machida controlled the distance brilliantly (as he always does) and landed a perfect straight right hand that knocked Bader out early in the second round.
With Dana White announcing that the night's most impressive winner would receive the next shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson, Machida made his claim in dramatic fashion.
What we'll remember about the fight
Lyoto Machida does what Lyoto Machida does. He is one of the best fighters in the UFC at controlling distance and waiting for his opportunity to pounce, and that is exactly what he just did.
With each of the night's light heavyweight showdowns being immensely important for its participants, we might very well remember this fight as the night Machida earned another title shot.
What we learned about Lyoto Machida
We learned nothing new about Lyoto Machida in this fight, but "The Dragon" reminded us of just how dangerous he can be when he is at his best.
Machida looked devastating against Bader, and his next opponent will have his hands full if he shows up like he did tonight at UFC on Fox 4.
What we learned about Ryan Bader
Ryan Bader's chin came into question briefly when Tito Ortiz dropped him at UFC 132, but we had never seen him brutally knocked out like he was against Machida.
In this matchup, we learned that Bader has trouble taking down elite opponents and does not have the top-level striking needed to contend with the division's best.
With the loss and lack of improvement shown, Bader may find himself relegated to the role of gatekeeper for the remainder of his UFC career.
What's next for Lyoto Machida
Barring a remarkable performance by either Mauricio "Shogun" Rua or Brandon Vera, the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson is next for Machida.
"The Dragon" wants his belt back, and this writer believes he just earned the shot at it.
What's next for Ryan Bader
A step down in competition is next for "Darth." Against Jon Jones and now Lyoto Machida, Bader showed a problem with rangy fighters who can dictate where the fight takes place.
Bader still has the talent to handle lesser fighters in the 205-pound division, but do not expect to see him in a co-main or main event in his next outing.
For Bader, somebody like Forrest Griffin or the loser of Shogun/Vera makes sense for his next matchup.
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