Lyoto Machida became the new UFC light heavyweight champion on Saturday in Las Vegas, taking out title-holder Rashad Evans with a flurry of punches in the second round of their UFC 98 headliner to capture the 205-pound belt.
Evans offered little offense in the bout, while Machida controlled the fight throughout, using his famous (or perhaps infamous) unorthodox style to score a knockdown late in the first round before eventually connecting with a barrage of punches midway through the second that first staggered Evans before ultimately collapsing him cold to the canvas.
Evans falls to 18-1-1 with the first loss of his career, while Machida remains undefeated, upping his perfect record to 15-0.
In the UFC 98 co-main event Matt Hughes picked up a controversial unanimous decision victory over Matt Serra in the highly-anticipated bout between the welterweight rivals.
Hughes survived an early onslaught by Serra in the opening frame to take both the second and third rounds en route to the decision victory. Despite the judge’s views on the bout, most spectators scored the third frame in favor of Serra following a surprising takedown and outburst of offense in the closing minute. Even Hughes was apparently swayed in favor of Serra, raising his opponent’s arm following the conclusion of the contest. However, when the only scores that matter were handed down the judges awarded the close, albeit controversial decision to Hughes with 29-28 scores across the board.
The future hall of famer Hughes improves to 43-7 on his career after bouncing back from back-to-back defeats, while Serra goes to 9-6 following two-straight losses.
Drew McFedries rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 37-second knockout of Xaview Foupa-Pokam that could send “Professor X” packing from the UFC, while Chael Connen topped Dan Miller and Frankie Edgar scored a unanimous decision over Sean Sherk in other main card bouts.
Brock Larson, Tim Hague, Kyle Bradley, Krzysztof Soszynski, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, and George Roop were victorious on the evening’s preliminary card.
The official results for UFC 98 were:
- Lyoto Machida def. Rashad Evans (c) via KO (punches) — Round 2, 3:57
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
- Matt Hughes def. Matt Serra via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Drew McFedries def. Xavier Foupa-Pokam via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 0:37
- Chael Sonnen def. Dan Miller via unanimous decision(30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Frankie Edgar def. Sean Sherk via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Brock Larson def. Mike Pyle via submission (arm-triangle choke) — Round 1, 3:06
- Tim Hague def. Pat Barry via submission (guillotine choke) — Round 1, 1:43
- Kyle Bradley def. Phillipe Nover via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 1:03
- Krzysztof Soszynski def. Andre Gusmao via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 3:17
- Yoshiyuki Yoshida def. Brandon Wolff via submission (guillotine choke) — Round 1, 2:24
- George Roop def. Dave Kaplan via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 30-27)