USA TODAY Sports
A recap of the UFC 157 light heavyweight contenders bout between Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson. Machida won the bout via close split decision.
In the co-main event of UFC 157, Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson didn't exactly blow the roof off of the Honda Center with their bout, but in the end it was Machida who picked up the close split decision victory. Henderson spent most of the first round kicking Machida's leg and trying to set up the H-Bomb, but he couldn't find Machida's chin. The Dragon landed a late trip takedown and a couple of shots on the ground to take the stanza.
The whole second round was basically Hendo looking to chase and Machida landing some nice counters as Henderson came in. Hendo got a takedown in the third but couldn't do much with it, but he did land some nice punches as well. It was hard to score, but the judges awarded it to Machida with scores of 29-28, 28-29, and 29-28.
What was the high point of the fight?
I'm not sure there was one. Maybe Machida's nice trip, or one of his wicked kicks to the body.
Where do they go from here?
Dana White says that Machida is the number one contender. Then again, it seems like he says that about 20 different fighters at a time. Not many people would be all that interested in Jones/Machida 2 (assuming Jones beats Chael Sonnen), but that might be where we're headed next. If not, Machida has fought most of the other top guys in the division and there aren't many other options. Sonnen himself, perhaps?
Henderson is in a bit of a strange position as well. He's still a good draw and can put on great fights with a lot of guys, but it seems that his title hopes are going. There are a bunch of guys I'd like to see him face off with (Evans, Teixeira, rematch with Shogun), but I think he'll get the loser of the Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi fight at UFC on Fuel 9.
Watch now, later, or never?
I'd go with never, but it was a pretty important fight so I'll defer to later. Seriously though, the fight was slow and bad. Unless you're a huge Hendo or Dragon fan, there's no reason to waste your time on this.