The Dragon returned, as Lyoto Machida walked out to the “Game of Thrones” theme to face Derek Brunson tonight (Sat., Oct. 28 2017) from inside Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. Would the nostalgia be rewarded against 7th-ranked powerhouse Derek Brunson?
Brunson came out calm, stationary. They threw kicks that fell short. Brunson stepped back as Machida feinted. Both men seemed cautious of the other’s power. Machida threw a straight left. Lyoto moved back just out of range of a lunging Brunson combination. Machida leaned back to avoid a high kick, then just missed on a counter left hand. He circled out, threw a left hand, but Brunson stayed in the pocket and hit him with a left hook, then another. Machida was rocked and tried to shoot. Brunson pushed him over onto his back and finished him off with a couple brutal punches that put Machida out. The arena was silent; their Dragon was limp on the canvas.
Brunson said in the post-fight interview to check his hand wraps to make sure he doesn’t have anything in there. “Nah, man. Nothing but power,” replied Cormier. Brunson said that Machida had lost none of his skills with age, and beating him was an honor. “I’m a bad man right now. First middleweight to get on Twitter and run your mouth, let’s do this!” Cormier insisted he called someone out, and Brunson thought for a moment and called out Luke Rockhold. That would be a great fight, and a good opportunity for Brunson to put his hands on another chinny middleweight. Machida, meanwhile, has given us all the memories we can ask for. He can do what he wants with his career, but it is clear he doesn’t have the durability to continue competing with the top end athletes at middleweight.
Official result: Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida via KO at 2:30 of round one
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