Article

Meet The New Boss - Machida KOs Evans to Win UFC 205-Pound Title

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - “Karate’s back,” shouted Lyoto Machida, and it’s hard to argue with him now that the words “UFC Light Heavyweight Champion” precede his name after a spectacular second round knockout of Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 98 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday night.

By Thomas Gerbasi

LAS VEGAS, May 23 – “Karate’s back,” shouted Lyoto Machida, and it’s hard to argue with him now that the words “UFC Light Heavyweight Champion” precede his name after a spectacular second round knockout of Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 98 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday night.

“I tried all my life to be champion and I am very, very happy,” said the new title holder. “Now I want to keep this belt for a long time.”

“It was a good fight,” said a gracious Evans. “He was very difficult to solve, very fast and explosive.”

As expected, the two 205-pound stalwarts searched for openings from a distance as the bout started, feinting to see the reaction coming back from each other. With 90 seconds gone, the two got within striking range, and with two minutes gone, it was Machida who landed the first strike, a kick to the head that knocked Evans off balance. The champion fired back a flurry but missed, and the two calmly went back to their tactical chess match. As the round entered it’s final stages, Machida’s kicks were finding a home, and with under a minute left, one landed, and a follow up left hand dropped Evans. Machida moved in for the finish, but Evans quickly recovered, got back to his feet, and made it to the bell.

The first offense of the second round came from Machida’s feet again, but the Brazilian was rebuffed on his takedown attempt. Moments later, Machida landed a hard punch, but Evans responded with a flurry that put the challenger on the defensive for the first time in the fight. And though they were blocked, Evans started throwing back his kicks in the second half of the stanza. With 1:30 left, Machida hurt Evans with a straight left to the head and dropped him. Evans got up and courageously fired back, trying to get back into the fight, but Machida’s pinpoint accuracy was too much for the New York native to handle, and after a ferocious overhand right followed by a left hook, Evans was sent to the canvas for good, prompting referee Mario Yamasaki to halt the bout at the 3:57 mark and begin a new era in light heavyweight mixed martial arts.

“If you have a dream, go hard, it’s possible,” said Belem, Brazil’s Machida, now 15-0.

Evans falls to 18-1-1

“This is my first time on the other side,” said Evans. “You got to take it how you give it. Maybe next time I’ll do better.”

Watch the FULL Replay on Yahoo! Sports.

Sunday, October 26
2AM
GMT
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Media

Recent
Photos from the ninth episode of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, featuring the first semifinals fight between Yair Rodriguez and Rodolfo Rubio!
Oct 14, 2014
Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez face off in the coaches challenge, a classic battle of penalty kicks. Cain has never played soccer but is confident he will win. Find out who comes out on top, and watch the full episode on UFCFIGHTPASS.com.
Oct 21, 2014
Ultimate Fighter coaches Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum go head-to-head in penalty kicks for a chance at a stack of cash for themselves and team members! Watch the full episode exclusively on UFCFIGHTPASS.com!
Oct 21, 2014
Cast members from The Ultimate Fighter Latin America stumble across a scorpion in the house. Or is it a cricket? Or a spider?
Oct 9, 2014