With a Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight title shot on the line, both Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua knew they needed to win -- and win impressively -- in their respective bouts at UFC on Fox 4, which took place in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sat., Aug. 4, 2012.
"Shogun" was able to win his fight against Brandon Vera via fourth round technical knockout. It was a grueling win over a very game opponent, but it wasn't enough.
That's because Machida essentially put on a striking clinic against Ryan Bader, dancing, bobbing and weaving, all the while landing punches and kicks whenever he pleased, until he finally got tired of playing with him and put him to sleep.
When the dust had finally settled, UFC President Dana White announced that it was indeed "The Dragon" who would get the next title shot versus the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 1, 2012.
According to White (who commented on his feelings during an interview with "Inside MMA's" Ron Kruck), it just came down to who he believes wanted it more:
"Everything about Lyoto Machida tells me he wants that title shot worse than 'Shogun' does. He'll fight anybody. You can tell he wants that title shot worse than 'Shogun,' in my opinion, and he looked good tonight. He knocked Bader out convincingly. He didn't take any damage, and he had a good showing against Jones in his last fight."
Even though "Bones" still has to get through "Hendo" at UFC 151, many are assuming that is a foregone conclusion that the champion will retain his title in on Labor Day weekend.
With that in mind, there are some who stand in opposition of a rematch between Jones and Machida, largely because of how decisively Jones finished him in the last go-round.
As usual, White is unfazed by his critics:
"Don't watch it. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's what everyone said about this card. All these geniuses who have all the answers are judging cards before they happen. you don't judge something until after it happens. to judge it before is completely stupid."
In regard to the title shot runner-up, "Shogun," Dana said he's still unsure of what will be on deck for him:
"I dunno. I'll have to talk to him and his people and find out what he wants next."
Speaking of titles, White is looking forward to this upcoming weekend's (Aug. 11, 2012) Lightweight Championship bout between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 in Denver, Colorado.
Though he wasn't making any predictions, he sees things going pretty similarly to the first time they fought:
"I think the fight is gonna look exactly like the first one. Every Frankie Edgar fight is a war. It's close, except for the last Gray Maynard fight. I think it's gonna be a toe-to-toe war. You can't ever count Frankie Edgar out, and Ben Henderson is big, strong, fast and incredibly well-rounded and talented."
Make sure you check in on Saturday night for LIVE coverage of UFC 150, complete with blow-by-blow analysis and results right here.