Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.


UFC 104: Lyoto Machida wins close decision over Shogun Rua

UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, left, won

UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, left, won a controversial unanimous decision over Mauricio Rua at UFC 104 at Staples Center on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles. (Credit: Getty Images)

In this week's fan poll, 65 percent of Fightin' Words readers thought Lyoto Machida would beat Mauricio "Shogun" Rua by KO/TKO. A cumulative 82 percent (590 of the 732 total votes) chose Machida to win the fight regardless of how. Online sportsbooks had Machida listed as a -500 or greater favorite.

So, basically, no one outside of Rua's family and training team gave him a chance to win the light heavyweight championship at UFC 104 in Los Angeles.

With a steady attack of leg kicks to the body, Rua tenderized Machida's ribs like a chef preparing a rack of ribs for a nice meal in the fanciest of fancy restaurants.

But Machida apparently did enough to fend off the body kicks and Rua's general control to win a unanimous decision and become the first light heavyweight champion to successfully defend his belt since Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on Sept. 8, 2007. All three judges scores the bout, 48-47. 

Well, at least the judges said Machida lost two rounds, his first two in eight UFC fights (22 rounds).

The decision was met with quite a bit of disappointment by the crowd at the Staples Center, and no doubt everywhere else people gathered to watch the fight. Be it in a friend's house or a bar or a dorm room, there will be great debate over this decision.

Did Machida (16-0) really do enough to win the fight, or did he just get by based on the old-school thought that in order  to become the champion, you have to beat the champion?

Regardless of where you stand on the decision, Rua (18-4) fought a very intelligent fight. He was controlled in his aggression and didn't look to rush in attacking Machida and his awkward style. Rua took away Machida's legs with a consistent inside leg kicks.

Each fighter did enough to make the decision as close as it was. I thought Rua won the fight as a whole but maybe not enough rounds when viewed individually, if you'll allow that to make any sense. 

One thing is definitely certain: the light heavyweight division remains the toughest and most competitive in the UFC.

>> UFC 104 photos

Lyoto Machida post-fight press conference highlights


Shogun Rua post-fight press conference highlights

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