Lyoto Machida fought like Lyoto Machida tonight, for the first time in a long time. He went back to his karate and movement, circling well using a kick-heavy game. Eryk Anders appointed himself well, landing some big lefts and a knee that busted Machida’s eyebrow wide open.
After five rounds, there wasn’t a lot to choose from. Anders delivered more damage. Machida landed more strikes. It came down to the judges, and unsurprisingly, the hometown boy won a split decision. That’s not to say he didn’t deserve it - I gave it to Machida 48-47 - but I wouldn’t have been disappointed by an Anders win either.
It wasn’t the best fight in history, but it was pretty good. And to top it off, Machida called out Michael Bisping after the fight. I wouldn’t mind seeing that.
- Valentina Shevchenko utterly dominated Priscila Cachoeira, and it doesn’t even look like a fight that should have been booked. After landing a few shots, she took Cachoeira down and absolutely devastated her with elbows. She was busted wide open. It was the first time I’ve ever considered a 10-7 round with no knockdowns. Referee Mario Yamasaki could have stopped it during the latter part of the first round, or pretty much anywhere in the second, but he wanted until Shevchenko finally, mercifully choked Cachoeira out.
- Give this lady a flyweight title shot, stat.
- Michel Prazeres shouldn’t have been allowed to fight. When you miss weight, then don’t even come close to a day-of weight that you’re supposed to be under, giving up 40% isn’t enough. You shouldn’t get anything. But he was allowed to fight, and he looked pretty decent in winning a decision over a much smaller Desmond Green. Green can take solace in the fact that he gets that 40% of Prazeres’ purse, but I don’t think that will help much.
- Timothy Johnson went to Brazil and did what he had to do to take home a win over Marcelo Golm. The crowd wasn’t very appreciative of his clinch-heavy approach, but it was effective and earned him a decision. And he even threw a couple of spinning attacks out there in the second round, just to keep everyone on their toes.
- Douglas Silva de Andrade basically had his way with Marlon Vera over three rounds, landing a left hook almost at well and mixing in body work well. Vera had a few moments, and gave De Andrade the double birds late in the third (which was amusing), but it was De Andrade’s night.
- The main card opener between Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith was certainly interesting. Santos smashed him with two kicks/knees early, but somehow Smith ended up in mount. Santos hit a beautiful sweep, and when they eventually got back to the feet, they both landed monster shots. Finally in the second Santos landed a hard liver kick and that was the beginning of the end. But both men showed a lot of heart and tenacity. Very good fight, and Santos might be the most intimidating middleweight on the roster.
- I thought Tim Means beat Sergio Moraes. To me, he clearly took rounds two and three. But Moraes throws crazy, wild strikes that look devastating. Judges seem to love that, even if they don’t land very often. And Means became a victim of that, dropping a split decision to the Brazilian in Brazil.
- Alan Patrick’s style isn’t pretty, but it is effective. He must have scored at least 10 takedowns in 15 minutes on Damir Hadzovic, who was never really in the fight at all. It is kind of sad to see a guy beg for a bonus so he can buy a house though.
- Why is Maia Stevenson in the UFC? Because she’s married to Joe Stevenson? She has literally never beaten an opponent with a single win on their record. That’s crazy in itself. Unsurprisingly, she was owned by a legit prospect in Polyana Viana and submitted in other four minutes. Meanwhile, Viana looks like she he has a bright future in the UFC.
- Iuri Alcantara is so hard to figure out. Sometimes he comes out and fights so listlessly that you have no desire to watch him compete. Other times he pulls out submissions in fights he’s losing. And then there’s nights like tonight, when he looks fantastic. He hurt Joe Soto quickly and blasted him in 66 seconds. Unfortunately, like the opener, the refs were really late actually calling a halt to the bout.
- Deiveson Figueiredo opened the card with a dominant win over Joseph Morales. Morales only landed a couple of shots through almost two rounds of action, and was basically beaten up by the Brazilian. Figueierdo should get a top-ten opponent next.