Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida received his first loss and first KO in MMA from Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Many (myself included) believed that Machida would be a dominant champion with a long Title run in the light heavyweight division. The Machida Era, however, consisted of a Title defense that was marred in controversy and a rematch that had him losing in the first round by knockout. He had an "elusive" style that no one could figure out, and he received little damage in his MMA fights in the UFC until he fought Shogun. While I believe that stylistically, Machida would be favored over most in the UFC light heavyweight division, I do feel that Shogun has his number. However, I feel that he could easily make a run at the UFC light heavyweight Title again.
From what I have read and my own opinions, many MMA fans are hopeful that Shogun will be a dominant champion with a long Title reign, but I don't get the feeling that many actually believe that he will be a dominant champion in the same vein as Anderson Silva or George St. Pierre (and the reasons for that are enough for another FanPosts). If Machida makes a run for the Title and is the next contender for it but faces Shogun, then Machida will probably lose. However, there is a good chance that someone else could be champion by the time Machida is back as a potential contender. Of course, there is the possibility that he could start losing fights and not even be in the Title mix, but I personally feel that Machida will get another crack at the UFC light heavyweight Title.
Many MMA fans will say that the Machida puzzle has been figured out by Shogun, and that Machida's next opponents will use the blueprints from Shogun to beat Machida. I personally feel that many fighters in the UFC light heavyweight division simply don't have the tools to do what Shogun did to Machida. Fighters such as Rampage or Rashad Evans don't utilize too many leg or body kicks, and they are not as quick with them as Shogun when they do use those kicks. To use an example, GSP pushed BJ Penn in their second fight against the cage, tired Penn out, and completed the takedown from there. When Kenny Florian tried a similar tactic (even though he denies trying to use GSP's second fight with Penn as a blueprint), it did not work on Penn. Also, Diego Sanchez pushed Penn against the cage similar to Florian, and he could not complete the takedown as well or tire him out.
Also, there are some out there that will claim that it is proven that Muay Thai beats Karate because of this fight. However, I just see it as Shogun beating Machida, not Muay Thai beating Karate. By this logic, Thiago Silva should have beaten Lyoto Machida, but that didn't happen.
Another point that was made is that Machida should consider cutting to Middleweight. I personally feel that he does not need to. He lost to one of the very best of the light heavyweight division in Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, but he has beaten some top light heavyweights in dominant fashion like Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva. Despite losing to Shogun, Machida has shown above average takedown defense, great accuracy and quickness in his strikes, good footwork, and a fighting style that works outside the pocket. In my opinion, whether it is Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, or whatever fighting style, these are simply good tools to have and would be trouble for most opponents.
As far as a next opponent is concerned, I have read that many MMA fans would like to see Lyoto Machida vs Forrest Griffin. Other potential matchups for Machida could be the loser of Jackson vs Evans, Rogerio Nogueira if he (somehow) loses to Jason Brilz, and the winner of Luiz Cane vs Cyrille Diabate. I honestly would not want to see Machida fight Rashad Evans again though.
The Machida Era is over even though it hardly even began. I do not feel that Machida is in any way done at light heavyweight, and I feel that he could get another Title shot in the near future. I think that he would still give problems to many top fighters in the UFC light heavyweight divison. While there are many habits in Machida's fighting style that are now ingrained and probably cannot be changed, I hope that he improves upon what he can and makes another run at the UFC light heavyweight Title.