Mauricio “Shogun” Rua officially put an end to the “Machida era” tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal. It took less than four minutes for Rua to put Machida down and force the referee to halt the fight; netting himself peace of mind and the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship in the process.
Rua and Machida met to dispute the championship in October at UFC 104; the result was a very controversial decision win for Machida. With “Shogun” pressing the action and repeatedly scoring the more significant blows, many fans and pundits (including UFC president Dana White) were bewildered by the decision. Due to the close nature of the fight, a rematch was scheduled immediately. Both men believed they had won but it would be “Shogun” who would come out ahead in the rematch and prove definitively that he is the rightful owner of the UFC Light-Heavyweight belt.
The action began at the bell with “Shogun” employing a more aggressive version of the gameplan that he used in their first fight. Machida defended and moved well, scoring with two takedowns and landing some good knees. As “Shogun” stood from a takedown, Machida landed a knee which “Shogun” made him pay for with a right hook that landed to the top of Machida’s head. The shot knocked him down and Rua followed him to the ground with some vicious ground and pound that left “The Dragon” unconscious, swollen, and no longer holding the title of UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion.
An excited “Shogun” thanked the crowd and his family, obviously reveling in the fact that he gave the judges no opportunity to award the wrong fighter the victory. Rua left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is the true UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion; this win over Machida was no fluke. Rua will likely make his first title defense against the winner of the Rashad Evans-Quinton “Rampage” Jackson fight that will headline UFC 114 later this month. Jackson and Rua have met previously, with Rua defeating Jackson via TKO due to soccer kicks at PRIDE Total Elimination 2005.