UFC Fight Night 30: "Machida vs. Munoz" took place at Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, England, last night (Sat., Oct. 26, 2013) and the card was decent apart from a few unfortunate occurrences.
Lyoto Machida proved he is one of the most dangerous fighters on the planet after his first-round headkick knockout over his friend, Mark Munoz, earning "Knockout of The Night" and capping off a successful Middleweight debut (watch video highlights here).
What should have been a fight for the ages between Melvin Guillard and Ross Pearson was cut short, after an accidental knee to a grounded opponent landed by Guillard opened up a cut on Pearson's forehead (watch video highlights of the incident here).
The referee felt the cut was too dangerous and called off the fight, resulting in a "No Contest." The good news is that the rematch is already set between these Lightweight veterans for a trip to London in March 2014.
For complete UFC Fight Night 30: "Machida vs. Munoz" results and play-by-play coverage click here.
Before all the mixed martial arts (MMA) action unfolded inside the Octagon, there were promotional appearances to generate awareness for -- and interest in -- a trip back to Manchester, England. Fighters said this and that, answering questions galore when all they really wanted to do is be left alone and not be bothered.
MMAmania.com does a pretty good job of passing along all the noteworthy pre- and post-fight comments for each event. But, as we've done before, let us look at the words that left the fighters' mouths before they stepped into the cage on Saturday night.
"I do have some insight how to to fight the fight the way I want to fight it. I think he knows that and I think he's going to use the tricks I taught him against me. I'm not much of a fighter that's able to have no action. I'm always wanting to press the issue or have a passive aggressive type of style. Lyoto waits for someone to come into you. Suffice to say, it's going to be a great fight and I do plan on it being a great fight."
-- If Mark Munoz taught Lyoto Machida how to land that brutal headkick to knock him out, that would have been quite ironic to say the least. It definitely will be remembered as one of the top knockouts of the year, but unfortunately it was not exactly a great fight -- more so a short one with Munoz on the receiving end of a finish. At least Munoz tried to press the action even if he could not get much done in the span of three minutes.
"It's very weird for me to fight a guy who is my friend, but it is part of the job. As a professional, I'm not thinking about that. I just focus on the fight. People can expect my best performance. I'm debuting at 185 and this is a new chapter in my career. We will see on Saturday but I want people to expect the best from me."
-- It is not everyday that we could knockout our friends and everything will be back to normal the next day, but in the sport of MMA, let's just say these things happen. Machida ended up finishing his friend in the third round and it was one of his better performances, making an immediate impact and turning some heads in the 185-pound division. It was certainly an exciting performance and one we may not have anticipated from "The Dragon" because of his past lackluster fights.
"Right now, I think I'm going to be one of the hardest tests for him at 155. He's fought some great 155ers, but none of them were like me. He has some work to do if he wants to be victorious, but that's why I'm here. I'm not going back home to the States all alone, on a 10-hour flight, with a loss under my belt. That'd be a horrible plane ride home."
-- Melvin Guillard's plane ride home may have been even worse, knowing that this fight between "The Young Assassin" and Ross Pearson resulted in a "No Contest" after an accidental foul, splitting Pearson's forehead open with a cut. Luckily for both lightweights, a rematch has been booked and we will see these two athletes throw down again. However, it was a disappointing turnout for the Manchester fans and all of us watching at home.
"Everything about being here, speaking to people, the excitement around it...it's just great to be back. I can't wait to put on a show for all the guys, all the British fans. Just to show that I've traveled all around the world in all these amazing cities and show what type of fighter I am."
-- You have to feel bad about Pearson and his desire to put on an entertaining fight that was cut short because of an illegal knee, which was nobody's fault at the end of the day. The young-gunning Pearson had that taken away from him in his return to England and hopefully, he and Guillard could make up for it in early 2014.
"You've got much lower expectations when you're the underdog and I think I'm deservedly the underdog as well, so psychologically I think it's definitely a push for me and I'm happy with the match up. I think it's a very even match up but when you know the fans don't expect you to win and then you win it's even sweeter."
-- Winning by submission could add to the sweetness for Luke Barnatt, who almost knocked out Andrew Craig twice but decided to celebrate a little bit and then submitted his opponent. The undefeated Barnatt may have walked into Manchester with no pressure; however, he left with a few more people remembering his name. He was thoroughly composed throughout the fight and he could enjoy the biggest win of his career ... even if few expected him to win.
For complete UFC Fight Night 30: "Machida vs. Munoz" coverage click here.