Sunday, May 24, 2009

 Machida KOs Evans, Remains "Untouchable"

 GueRRillaFight 5.24.09

It took just under four minutes of the second round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for Lyoto Machida to knock out  the defending Light Heavyweight Champion, Rashad Evans.  Both fighters had been undefeated coming into the night of Rashad's first title defense and it was inevitable that someone would leave with a blemish on their record. 

 The first round began with a long feeling out period with Machida controlling the center of the octagon.  Rashad’s use of jerky head and shoulder movement did little to take the challenger out of his game.  Instead, Machida remained composed, relaxed and patient while remaining just outside of Rashad’s range.  True to form, Lyoto, with his unorthodox, karate style, landed lightning fast kicks to the legs and body of Rashad, at one point knocking Rashad down and winning  the first round without taking on any damage of his own.  His precise speed and technique appeared to have Rashad questioning his own strategy as Lyoto ended the first round without being so much as grazed.

 The second round began just as the first had but this time both fighters were a little more aggressive and willing to throw.  While Rashad was finally able to connect with his opponent midway through the round, he didn’t inflict any damage.  Machida turned things back around quickly and after a barrage of strikes, a vicious left-hook put Evans to sleep at the 3:57 mark ending his undefeated moniker and relinquishing his title to an unscathed Lyoto Machida.

 In interviews after the fight, Machida declared that “karate is back” while Rashad Evans simply stated what the rest of us had just witnessed. “He (Lyoto) was very difficult to solve, very fast and explosive.”  It would seem that the next fighter to have an opportunity to solve the riddle of now 15-0 Lyoto Machida will be former champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. 

 -Nando /


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