Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight veterans Lyoto Machida and C.B. Dollaway scrapped last night (Dec. 20, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 58 inside Ginasio Jose Correa in Barueri, Brazil.
Very few fight fans expected Dollaway to ever make his way into the Top 10 rankings, but he did just that off the strength of his 2014 wins. This string of victories led him to a main event match up with Machida, and "Doberman" attempted to capitalize on this opportunity.
Coming off his tight decision loss to Chris Weidman, Machida looked to return with a vengeance. In the crowded 185-pound division, Machida had to make a violent statement in order to get his name back into the title mix.
Consider that mission accomplished (watch video highlights here).
Dollaway opened the bout by quickly attempting to circle outside of Machida's lead leg and check his right hand. Machida kept up with him, and the two traded low kicks. Suddenly, Machida began feinting with his round kick, causing Dollaway to visibly flinch.
Which was a wise subconscious reaction, considering the rib-shattering body kick that then rocketed into Dollaway's soul.
Dollaway tried to put on a game face and hang in there, but the fight was clearly over. Machida put on the pressure, Dollaway crumbled, and the fight was called.
It only took 62 seconds.
What can I say about Machida's performance? He finished a legitimate top 10 opponent with one strike and only absorbed a single low kick. Frankly, that's extraordinary.
Machida is clearly still in title contention. For his next match, Machida will probably end up against Luke Rockhold, which is a match up of two of the finest Southpaw strikers in the organization.
Dollaway's game plan was rather perplexing. Rather than attempting to pressure Machida with punches and takedowns, Dollaway stood at Machida's range and traded kicks. Clearly, Dollaway was never going to win a kicking battle with the karate master, so perhaps he was looking to ease into the five round bout.
Regardless, Machida never gave him the opportunity to showcase his talent.
Once Dollaway can take deep breathes without terrible pain, I'd like to see him scrap with Brad Tavares or Costa Philippou. Both men are fairly dangerous strikers with strong takedown defense, which would force Dollaway to demonstrate both of his primary skills in order to win.
At UFC FIght Night 58, Lyoto Machida brutalized Dollaway's mid-section with a hard liver kick. Can "The Dragon" earn a second middleweight title shot?
For complete UFC Fight Night "Machida vs Dollaway" results and play-by-play click HERE.