They needed all five rounds the first time. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua needed less than five minutes in the rematch.
The bout started as the slow, technical battle that had defined their first battle. Lyoto Machida answered questions on whether or not he would work the ground game, securing two takedowns from the clinch. “Shogun” proved his jiu jitsu acumen, deftly and quickly moving his hips to stand back on his feet.
Machida didn’t look to have a solid answer for the dynamic Muay Thai game of Shogun. He allowed his fellow countryman to stifle him with leg kicks, and looked uncomfortable on the feet.
And then it all came crashing down. Rua landed a right hook upside Machida’s temple, putting the champion on the mat. Shogun followed with another punch as Machida’s head bounced off the canvas. Rua landed in mount and rained down punches as Machida desperately struggled to hang on – to Shogun and his consciousness.
Referee Yves Lavigne allowed Machida the opportunity to recover, but Shogun put his lights out shortly thereafter.
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the era of the Shogun.
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