Luke Rockhold is a bad, bad man. The former Strikeforce middleweight champ entered his UFC on Fox 15 main event bout with Lyoto Machida with a lot at stake - a win would probably earn him a UFC middleweight title shot, while a loss would have been a major setback. So he went out there and dismantled a former UFC light heavyweight champion in emphatic fashion.
Machida did land a couple of good shots early, but Rockhold took advantage of a Machida slip and worked from top position. After securing hooks, he beat Machida up on the ground and looked for a submission. It didn't come, but a couple of late elbows left Machida seriously dazed. He wasn't the same fighter in the second, and Rockhold worked him over on the ground until Machida basically handed him a rear naked choke. He tapped right away.
What was the high point of the fight?
Rockhold's ground work. Machida is very good on the mat himself, but Luke's passing and pressure is amazing.
Where do these two go from here?
Rockhold will likely challenge the winner of the Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort fight at UFC 187. They even set up a bout with Weidman after the show, putting him on the Fox panel to verbally spar with Rockhold and teammate Daniel Cormier.
Machida's options are pretty limited at this point. Rockhold beat him in a way no one else has before, and at 36 he might be permanently out of the middleweight title picture now. Especially because he has lost to both Weidman and Rockhold. If Belfort loses to Weidman, he might be a good next opponent.
Watch now, later, or never?
Now. Rockhold's worth watching every time out, but this bout will get you hyped for his future title fight.