UFC 104: Machida Defeats Shogun in Controversial Decision
By Jim Genia (Oct 25, 2009) DoghouseBoxing  
UFC light-heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida successfully defended his belt against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 104 last night, but only in the eyes of the judges. After five rounds of patient back-and-forth exchanges, which saw Machida absorb a plethora of punishing kicks to the body and legs, ringside officials unanimously saw the champ ahead three rounds to two – a decision that surprised Machida and Shogun both and elicited a chorus of boos from the 16,000 fans packed into the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

For his part, the champ did manage to bang the challenger up, his karate-based counter-striking and accurate flurries putting him on the scoreboard and filling the normally hyper-aggressive Shogun with controlled restraint. But Shogun – a Brazilian Muay Thai specialist and at one time considered the best light-heavyweight MMA competitor in the world based on his dominant wins in Japan – scored repeatedly with kicks, and when time ran out he held his arms aloft in celebration knowing he’d won. It’s a shame the judges saw otherwise.

In other action, heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez put his All-American wrestling credentials to good use, dodging the more experienced Ben Rothwell’s outside punching to score takedowns and deliver a nonstop barrage of punches. Less than a minute into the second round the referee had seen enough, and Velasquez was given the win via TKO. In the lightweight division, “The Ultimate Fighter: Season Two” winner Joe Stevenson had his way with Spencer Fisher on the ground, dropping elbows until the referee stoppage, and in a middleweight match-up wrestler Chael Sonnen out-wrestled, out-boxed and out-worked top-ranked Japanese fighter Yushin Okami to earn the unanimous decision victory.

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