The UFC light heavyweight championship belt still rests around the waist of Lyoto Machida, much to the dismay and disagreement of many who witnessed the bout. Machida was visibly banged up with a busted lip and whelp around his ribs. Rua was seemingly able to crack the Machida code, keeping him at bay with great leg kicks and covering up well to avoid any damage from the striking of “The Dragon.” It was truly a chess match. one that had both fighters countering a counter and going to second and third strategies. It was more of a mental battle than a physical one. I don’t have any issue with the decision.
In my opinion, neither fighter did anything to warrant a definitive win. The only rounds I wrote down in pen for each fighter was the third round for Machida and the fifth for Rua, all the other rounds are debatable. I kept waiting for one of the fighters to come in with a flurry to steal a round like Machida did in the third but it never happened.
In a match-up that featured conservative striking, how can anyone cry foul? I personally had the fight for Rua, 3-2, giving him the first, fourth and fifth rounds but in no way was I shocked. The only thing that made me say wow was the verdict being unanimous.