In a packed house and a crazy environment in Arena Jaragua in Brazil, Lyoto Machida defeated Gegard Mousasi by unanimous decision to stay perfect in the middleweight division Saturday night during UFC Fight Night 36.
UFC recapped Machida's dominant win on Twitter:
With two fighters who combined for a 54-7-2 record heading into the contest, you knew a lot of pride would be on the line. That was evident early on, as both fighters came out looking to get into their own very different respective rhythms.
Both fighters distanced themselves from each other in the early goings, as Round 1 was slow. Machida danced around and was able to control the pace, landing a number of punches on the outmatched Mousasi, who looked more interested in keeping up.
Machida landed a huge kick to Mousasi's neck and jaw area midway through the second round, and although Mousasi was eventually able to answer, it wasn't enough to make up for that early blow.
Both fighters never truly settled in until the third round, when Machida was still able to control things with his pacesetting. Mousasi began bleeding heavily from his nose, as Machida was beating him up profusely and running circles around him.
Boiled-over tensions after a slow start to the fight led to Machida attacking Mousasi, taking him down to the canvas. It turned out to be a bad idea for him—Mousasi controlled the battle on the canvas until the end of the period.
In the fifth and final round, Machida looked spent, and constant jabs had his nose bleeding. Mousasi was able to control the pace and bloody up Machida's face a bit more down the stretch.
As Fox Sports' Mike Chiappetta noted, that's not something that happens often:
Machida bleeding from the nose. That's a pretty rare occurrence. #UFC— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) February 16, 2014
But Mousasi's resurgence in the final stretches of the bout wasn't enough to make up for Machida controlling the vast majority of the fight.
There was little question during most of the match that Machida was the man on top, and if there was, it was quelled when he laid a number of punches onto Mousasi in the final seconds. Mousasi may have been able to rebound in the fourth round, but for the four other rounds, it was all Machida.
Does Machida deserve a shot at the middleweight crown?
In the end, there was little doubt when Machida was named the unanimous victor after his lopsided win.
The fight went a full 25 minutes, not all of which were exciting but certainly included a number of hard-hitting, violent moments that left each fighter badly beaten, cut and bruised.
Machida didn't look dominant for the entire fight. Mousasi certainly battled and brought his best, but Machida simply looked to be controlling the energy and was on the attack for much of the bout.
Saturday's fight was an unorthodox moment for UFC marketing-wise, putting on a free program for standard cable viewers on Fox Sports 1. Machida-Mousasi was a rare marquee bout on cable TV.