The co-main event of the UFC on Fox 4: "Shogun vs. Vera" fight card tonight (Sat., Aug. 4, 2012) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, featured one of two potential title eliminator match-ups, as Lyoto Machida took on Ryan Bader.
If the winner was more impressive than the Mauricio Rua vs. Brandon Vera bout later in the night, he would earn a shot at the light heavyweight title later this year. That's all the motivation either guy needed to put on one hell of a show.
It may have taken a round, but that's exactly what we got.
Machida came in light, weighing just 201-pounds for a 205-pound bout but it was clearly because he wanted to be as quick as possible to avoid finding himself on the receiving end of one of Bader's overhand power rights. As it turns out, that speed was the difference.
"Darth" rushed in, looking for that big right, and Machida timed him perfectly, firing off a right of his own that landed right on the button and put Bader to sleep in the second round. Who knows if it earned him a title shot but it was one hell of a knockout.
As expected, they were slow out of the gate. Machida landed a low kick and that may have been on the only strike to land in the first minute of the bout. Bader rushed in and threw a few punches but ran back out, clearly respecting his opponent's abilities.
The first round played out almost exactly the way you predicted. Or you. Or even you. Machida avoided all of Bader's big shots and peppered in a few of his own with the sort of timing most fighters can only dream of.
The second stanza started the same, playing out just like the first round. And then Bader decided to rush in one too many times and Machida timed him perfect with a well placed bomb that landed directly on Bader's chin.
Impressive. But impressive enough for another shot at Jones?
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's complete coverage of the UFC on Fox 4 event by clicking here.