“Wayne’s Walk Back Into Time”
Lyoto “Dragon” Machida vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Article courtesy of Wayne Carl of NickPortellaMMA.com and MMA Freaks.
On the 24th October 2009 in Los Angeles, California, UFC 104 would produce one of the most controversial and talked about championship fights in the history of mixed martial arts. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “Dragon” Machida would put his belt on the line looking for his first title defense against MMA standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. In 2009 the 15-0 Lyoto “Dragon” Machida looked unbeatable. A karate stylist with elite kicking skills, amazing balance, and the striking speed of a snake. He had just dismantled Rashad Evans in devastating fashion, putting the whole 205 roster on notice that the “Machida era” was upon the UFC. With career victories over MMA legends Stephan Bonnar, Rich Franklin, BJ Penn, Tito Ortiz, and Thiago Silva, the “Dragon” had slain a murders row of the best fighters in the world.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua 18-3 come across to the UFC as a readymade MMA star. Rua had only lost to Renato Sobral, Mark Coleman, and a shock UFC debut loss to Forrest Griffen. His resume included UFC/MMA stars Rampage Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem, Kevin Randleman, and Chuck “Icemen” Liddell. This was a battle of two absolute champions of our sport at the very top of their powers.
As with previous editions of “Wayne’s Walk Back Into Time” I will look to re-watch, re-score, and re-cap this championship fight!
** Please note the fight is watched without sound. I will provide significant moments and a round by round score below.
** No feeling out process needed as both combatants get right to it.
** Early clinch and Machida lands 3 straight knees to Rua’s mid-section.
** Hard body kick Rua.
** Left body kick Machida.
** Low heavy leg kick Rua.
** Kicks traded between both fighters.
** Step in knee by Rua- that had to hurt.
** Attempted takedown off a knee from Machida, Rua doesn’t land it.
** Octagon control even at this point.
** Grappling against the cage controlled by Rua.
** Hard right leg kick crashes into Machida’s ribs.
** Sweeping leg kick Rua.
** Machida switching stances, his movement always elite.
** Calf kick Rua, Machida answers with a counter left.
** Hard body kick landed by Machida.
** Nice right counter by Rua.
** Rua lands another devastating body kick.
Rua controlled the action, was busier and landed the heavier strikes.
** Accurate inside calf kick by Rua.
** Lots of feints by Machida.
** Great punch landed by Machida.
** Accurate body kick lands for Machida.
** Machida in the southpaw stance.
** This is a karate vs Muay Thai classic.
** Great lead left punch to Machida.
** Machida times a knee as Rua explodes in for a takedown.
** Sweeping low calf kick Machida.
** Back to back breath-taking body shots to Rua.
** It’s a game of feints and body shots.
** Flying knee Rua.
** Rua controlling the clinch.
** Knees in the clinch to Rua.
Very close round with Rua stealing it with control against the fence with grappling and knees.
** Rua takes the center of the octagon.
** Rua lands another wind taking rib-tickler.
** Machida responds with a hard-straight right.
** Machida switching stances and using his movement.
** Machida lifting the tempo. Less feints more action.
** Machida not exiting the pocket. He is being countered a lot.
** Low calf killer leg kicks for Rua.
** Attempted takedown stuffed by Machida, his balance always great.
** Elbow on the break for Rua.
** Rua aiming leg kicks at Machida’s thigh – clearly the game plan.
** Both trade leg kicks.
** Counter straight left as Rua comes in, well timed Machida.
** Rua being aggressive, trying to take octagon control.
** Machida ups his power and lands two kicks.
** Counter straight left – a weapon for Machida lands clean.
** Machida pouring it on- his best moment of the fight.
** Rua counters from the pocket.
A late flurry secures, in my opinion, Machida’s first round.
** Early octagon control to Rua.
** Machida using feints to keep Rua uncomfortable.
** Low kicks traded.
** Machida partially lands a head kick.
** Rua returns fire with a heavy body kick.
** A slip by Machida.
** Rua uses the slip to attempt a takedown.
** Knee on the break to Rua.
** Rua continues to land hard heavy leg kicks to the inside and outside of Machida’s lead leg.
** Leg kicks taking effect on Machida’s inside / outside movement.
** Elbow off a break after some grappling landed by Machida.
** More of the same to Rua. Leg kicks for days.
Clearest round of the fight with Rua’s power hurting Machida. Machida needs a KO in my opinion.
** Fifth and final round.
** The leg kick game plan continues as Rua chops into Machida.
** Nice straight left by Machida. Needs a lot more.
** Calf kick by Rua. Machida will struggle to walk tonight.
** Machida’s movement now compromised.
** Heavy body kick returned via Machida.
** Rua answers immediately.
** A blitz by Rua and he lands an impressive combination.
** Powerful knee by Machida.
** Knees in a clinch to Rua.
** Rua has the grappling advantage.
** Herb Dean breaks them up as Machida looks to be taking a break.
** Knees for Machida.
** Massive elbow on the break for Rua.
** Hand combinations land for Rua.
Another round scored for Rua. His power and activity shaded Machida.
My final result 49-46!
Different to the three judges who all had the fight 48-47 Machida!
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua would go on to win the rematch via a devastating KO in the very first round. He would lose his converted title in his first title defense against a once in a generation fighter Jon “Bones” Jones.
His career would have its ups and downs and would never reach the lofty heights of 2009/10. Wins over Forrest Griffen, Brandon Vera, and James Te Huna were mixed in with career-derailing losses to Dan Henderson, Alexander Gustafsson, and Chael Sonnen. He is on a three-fight winning streak trying to climb back to the top of the sport.
Lyoto “Dragon” Machida’s career after this fight would also never reach the heights of 2009/10. He would fight Jon Jones for the title with some early success before being subbed. Wins over Ryan Bader, Dan Henderson, Gegard Mousasi, and CB Dollaway were mixed in with devastating losses to Phil Davis, Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson. Lyoto did win his last fight against Eryk Anders in a very questionable decision.
Until the next edition!