Which light heavyweight will come more prepared and motivated into the Octagon, and which fighter will leave town empty-handed and lost in this deep division?
Tune in here for real-time analysis and coverage as the action unfolds inside the cage.
Here we go. Dear jeebus, I'm giddy.
The round starts, and they touch gloves.
Machida judges the distance early, as expected, while Hendo throws some leg kicks.
Halfway through the round, Hendo and Machida continue to circle and gauge their respective attacks. There are some small flurries from each fighter, but there's really nothing of note thus far.
The H-bomb has been thrown!
The round is coming to a close as they clinch.
Excellent trip and follow up ground-and-pound by Machida.
That was a textbook feeler round by "The Dragon" with some nice offense sprinkled in at the end.
If Machida can continue to avoid Hendo's power, pick his shots and win the clinch wars, this fight is his for the taking.
Score: 10-9, Machida
On to Round 2.
Both of these guys can end the fight at any time, and I'm regretting that second cup of coffee right now.
Hendo shoots for a takedown and is casually shrugged off.
Machida lands a nice front kick and cross follow, but Hendo charges forward as if he didn't feel it.
This dude's chin...
If Machida continues to fight like this, Hendo will stay fresh the entire fight, and that H-bomb will maintain its power—something to think about.
Midway through Round 2, this fight looks exactly the same. Machida is faster, more accurate and more technical.
Hendo charges and Machida counters. Man, that was a fraction away from being a replica Ryan Bader knockout.
Hendo turns up the aggression, and eats another counter for his troubles. Machida ain't nothing to play with, folks.
They close the round with some more circling and tense "is the H-bomb coming?" moments.
Machida lands a nice spinning back kick, and Hendo, looking frustrated charges again.
The old man can't catch "The Dragon."
Round 2: 10-9, Machida
Final round. Can Hendo land a flush punch and earn his title shot?
Machida is feinting like crazy, and Hendo continues to threaten with leg kicks.
Another H-Bomb attempt comes up short.
Hendo secures a takedown after some uncharacteristically sloppy footwork by Machida.
This could get interesting.
Machida ties Hendo up, nullifying any offense from the top.
Nothing is happening, and referee Herb Dean threatens to stand them up.
Machida escapes, and we're back up with 1:45 left in the round. That bit of top control might win Hendo the round if nothing else happens.
One minute to go. Is there a finish on the horizon?
Hendo is not fighting with the urgency he needs to—maybe he's saving it for the final 20 seconds.
Machida lands another jumping front kick to the face, followed by a nice left high kick.
Hendo is not phased...like, at all. He's smiling, in fact.
Machida dances around as Round 3 ends, and we're going to the judges' scorecards.
He couldn't solve the puzzle that Machida presents, and I have Machida taking this one.
Score: 10-9, Henderson
It's official. Lyoto Machida defeats Dan Henderson by split decision.