by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
There may soon be an argument in Brazil as to who is the best pound for pound fighter on the planet as Lyoto Machida put his name in the hat as the top light heavyweight in the world after knocking out the previously undefeated 205lb. champion, Rashad Evans, in the 2nd round of their title fight at UFC 98.
Machida displayed his dominance early in the fight landing good punches and kicks to Evans, prompting the now former champion to gesture at his opponent, but not offer much back in the way of offense.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and karate practitioner once again used his elusive style to keep away from any kind of power shot that Evans had in his arsenal, while popping him with good punches whenever the opportunity presented itself.
The second round was clearly all Machida, as he started to open up with more punches, seemingly gaining confidence with every second that passed.
As Evans stepped in to engage Machida with just over a minute left in round two, it was the Brazilian who landed a big combination of punches that buckled his opponent’s knees, putting him on the defensive.
Trying his best to recover, Evans threw wild punches, but had no answer to Machida’s superior striking and as soon as the fighters moved against the cage, it was Machida who put an end to the fight.
Another good combo followed, and a big left hook landing squarely on Evans’ jaw saw the now former champion crumble to the mat, knocked unconscious with Lyoto Machida standing over him victorious as the new UFC light heavyweight champion.
“I try all my life to be champion, and I am very, very, very happy,” Machida said after the championship win. “Now I’m going to keep this belt for a long time.”
Still undefeated in his professional career, Lyoto Machida now adds some championship gold to his resume, and will now take his place as the #1 light heavyweight in the world.
“If you have a dream, go ahead, it’s possible,” Machida commented after the emotional victory.
Machida also shouted “karate’s back” to the crowd in attendance, showing his love for the martial art that he’s studied for so many hear, and that annoucement will very likely boost DVD sales of the 80’s classic “The Karate Kid”, although hopefully no one will try a crane kick in MMA.
As for Rashad Evans, the former champion tasted defeat for the first time in his career, but despite the loss, he stayed positive and smiled, as he always seems to do.
“Only thing you can do is go forward,” Evans stated after the fight.
Lyoto Machida will celebrate his win, and look for a showdown later this year against top contender, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.