The two elite competitors took part in a fascinating five round thriller with several twists and turns to send the crowd home happy. While Weidman controlled the majority of the opening three rounds, Machida found his range in the fourth round and peppered his American adversary with a barrage of strikes that had the champ staggered at varying point in the final 10 minutes of the fight.
With the crowd behind him in the fifth round, Machida proceeded to stuff Weidman's takedown and continued to overwhelm him with unorthodox strikes. The champion got a late burst of energy hit several hard knees and elbows that staggered Machida before taking him down with two minutes to go. It would prove to be enough, as he would defend his title via unanimous decision.
Official Result: Chris Weidman def. Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46)
What was the high point of the fight?
While the first three rounds favoured Weidman, Machida got a burst of energy in the fourth round, where he found his range and began peppering the champ with a variety of strikes that wobbled him. It was easily the best round in the entire fight and saw Machida get a huge pop from the crowd in attendance as he pressured Weidman.
Where do these two go from here?
For Weidman, he succeeded in going five sets for the first time in his career. He did so against a formidable challenger and a former champion, which certainly adds to his legitimacy as a champion. He will look to add to his title defences with match-ups against the likes of Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold.
Machida took Weidman into deep waters and was seemingly close to becoming the new middleweight champion. While he was ultimately unsuccessful, he looked fantastic in defeat and will remain in the upper echelon of the 185lb. division.
Watch now, later or never?
Watch immediately. This is one of the best fights of the year and highlights both the legend of Lyoto Machida, as well as the heart and determination of the young champion Chris Weidman.