With the prospect of a light heavyweight championship fight hanging in the balance, Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida walked to the cage tonight (Feb. 23, 2013) at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, eager to make their mark and not just earn the shot but take it.
In round one, Machida's elusiveness was evident early as Henderson lunged in but found nothing but air. "The Dragon" started in with the feints and hand movement that elicited little reaction from his American foe. In fact, "Hendo's" answer was the low kick set up he loves so much followed by a "U-S-A" chant from the crowd in Cali.
Push kicks and short jabs while Henderson came in was the name of the Brazilian's game. It was effective, too, considering Henderson's inability to make his way inside to put his hands on Machida's chin.
Really, it was all about frustration, though "Dangerous" Dan did manage to land a hard right hand late. Despite that, Machida's legs stayed under him and the first round actually closed with Machida landing a takedown.