Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz: What We Learned in Fight Night 30's Main Event
The main talking point in the MMA community going into Fight Night 30 was the fact that Lyoto Machida, former light heavyweight champion, was heading to middleweight to fight friend and occasional training partner Mark Munoz in an intriguing bout in England.
The fight didn't disappoint on Saturday. Machida showed the world exactly what to expect from him at 185 lbs going forward and allowed us all to learn a few things.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
Everything that's great about this sport.
Machida, the elite karateka, finished Munoz with a lightning-fast head kick that was the first real shot he landed in the fight. Obviously, that's awesome.
With Munoz out cold, the former champion elected not to follow up with blows on the ground, sparing his buddy unnecessary punishment. It reminded us all just how great it can be to see sportsmanship in a sport that is all about damaging another man to the point that he can't keep going.
What We Learned About Lyoto Machida
We also learned that his power, founded on flawless technique, is going to follow him to 185 lbs. Considering just how good he was at light heavyweight, a smaller, faster and sleeker Machida with the same degree of power could easily romp to a title shot within a year.
What We Learned About Mark Munoz
He's still susceptible to the head kick after all these years.
He has also probably peaked in terms of his ranking. Being 35 years old and losing two of the last three to elite competition aren't signs of a fighter going in the right direction.
What's Next for Machida
He should face a star at the top of the heap. It makes a lot of sense to pit him against Michael Bisping, given that Machida replaced the Brit at UFC Fight Night 30. Nobody would complain about a meeting with Vitor Belfort, if he should decide to return to middleweight once he fights Dan Henderson on November 9.
What's Next for Munoz
He should meet someone good but not great, perhaps a lower-tier Top 10 guy. He could be a good test for Francis Carmont or a solid option for Luke Rockhold when he returns from injury.
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