Everyone sees fights differently and watching on television is different that capturing a fight on Joe Rogan missed the straight punches Machida landed in every rushed clash, but over the course of five rounds Mauricio "Shogun" Rua took three. The judges didn't see it that way.
Lyoto Machida defeats Mauricio "Shogun" Rua by unanimous decision 48-47, all three judges scoring it identically.
The fight's proposed clash of styles was at least visually apparent, but the real difference was damage. Shogun dismantled Machida with counter kicking to challenge the karateka's lunging chambered punches.The methodical body work was almost the opposite of head hunting. Shogun methodically took the spring out of Machida's step and spirit by grinding round kicks to the right lead leg and body.
Shogun also demonstrated success in closing the distance. He used takedown attempts both intended to initiate clinching or to rush Machida. And from afar Shogun performed ably as well. He continuously landed a thudding body kick on Machida's lunging crosses. That kick also found a home on Machida's front leg over and over again causing some of the most serious damage of the fight.
Machida was able to land straight punches throughout the fight, but not to any real damaging effect. Machida, however, was significantly slowed and made far more manageable in his movement and speed.
Damage aside, Shogun never lost his rhythm and classic style. Machida's attack appears substantially muted when he can't get opponents to lost their comfort zone.
As for the scoring, it's hard to find agreement with the judges. A case can be made for two rounds for Machida, but finding a third is difficult. In my judgment, rounds three through five are incontestably Shogun's. I also gave the first round to Shogun, but I'm entirely opposed to the notion of spotting Machida a round. Doesn't matter. Even a charitable first round doesn't save the UFC champ.
I'm also struck that this was a fight that if necessary could be decided on damage and yet it was still miscounted. The arithmetic was botched. Between this and Mazzagatti's outrageous stoppage, the alleged veteran officiating crew looked awfully green and unable to do damage inventory.