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UFC 104 results: Machida takes controversial decision

Cain Velasquez in control from start to finish to win co-main event

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Justin M. Bowen

Lyoto Machida blocks a kick from Shogun Rua during the main event of UFC 104 Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Updated Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009 | 10:04 p.m.

Machida Takes UFC 104

After a controversial win for Lyoto Machida, a rematch of UFC 104 seems likely.

Machida wins by decision

Lyoto Machida celebrates Saturday night after the main event of UFC 104 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Machida won a controversial unanimous decision for the UFC light heavyweight title. Launch slideshow »

UFC 104 undercard

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher in the front row Saturday night during UFC 104 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Launch slideshow »

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LOS ANGELES — With the crowd at Staples Center booing Lyoto Machida Saturday following his unanimous decision victory against Shogun Rua in the main event of UFC 104, Machida said he would be open to a rematch with the man who appeared to beat him.

“Anytime,” Machida said in his broken English. “Whenever he wants, I will fight him again. No problem.”

Machida improved his MMA record to 16-0 by winning 48-47 on all three judges’ scorecards for the UFC light heavyweight championship. The decision was greeted with a series of ‘boos’ from the crowd as several believe the underdog Rua (18-4) did enough to win.

Rua frustrated Machida for most of the five-round fight with leg kick after leg kick. Machida, who entered as a four-dollar betting favorite, had never been challenged like this in his storied career.

It’s a career that could have very easily included a first loss.

“I practiced 1,000 legs kicks a day because I knew that was a big part of our strategy,” Rua said through a translator. “I trained hard for four months for this fight to show what I could do.”

Below is a round-by-round update of the fight as it happened:

Lyoto Machida v. Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua: The main event opens with Machida landing a few knees out of the Muay Thai clinch. Shogun lands leg kick and then puts Machida into a clinch against the cage. Machida breaks away from him. Machida goes for a knee that Shogun weathers and shoots for a takedown. Machida defends and it's back to a clinch on the opposite side of the Octagon.

Shogun feints a punch and lands a kick to Machida's midsection. More feeling out as both throw kicks that miss. Machida comes through with a straight left hand and Shogun answers with a right to Machida's face. Again they throw at the same time, Machida landing a punch while Shogun scores a leg kick. Pretty close round Machida may have come away with.

The second round starts with Shogun landing a few counters after Machida leads with a kick and it looked like Machida acknowledged the combination to Shogun. Shogun rushes in and looks to land a kick but Machida blocks. Machida comes forward with two straight punches that crash through Shogun's hands.

Now Machida switches stances temporarily. Another body kick from Shogun. Shogun flies forward with a knee that looks like it got Machida's body but he looks unfazed by it. Shogun clinches again and throws a few knees with Machida's back to the cage before round ends.

That flying knee in the second round definitely hit Machida and there is a huge red welt where it landed under his ribs. Machida comes forward in the third round and lands a big right hand but Shogun takes it well so he backs off. Shogun throwing a lot of kicks towards Machida's body and he's landing a decent percentage of them.

The crowd starts booing but this is what they should have expected — Machida is always a pretty patient fighter until he sees a guy is hurt. Machida gets the better of an exchange again as he lands a straight punch while Shogun throws a leg kick. Shogun lets the hands loose and comes forward but it looks like Machida was able to avoid damage. Shogun lands a hard leg kick to the inside of Machida's thigh. Machida comes forward and lands a pnch and now he wants to move forward, throwing combinations. But Shogun does just enough, keeping Machida at a distance with a few hooks.

The fourth round begins with a Shogun leg kick — those have to be adding up. The crowd breaks into a Machida chant. Another strong leg kick lands for Shogun. Machida throws a kick towards the side of Shogun's head but it's blocked. Shogun rushes after Machida slips on a kick but he's able to recover. Shogun lands an elbow after breaking off a clinch. Under 30 seconds left the crowd starts to boo again, neither fighter seems to care as they hang back until the horn.

Both fighters come into the final round with the score in question. Las Vegas Sun has it 2-2. Shogun lands a leg kick as Machida was coming in and then another on his shin as he's backing up. The leg kicks have really taken Machida's rhythm away, he looks hesitant in coming forward.

Shogun rushes forward again with overhand punches that Machida avoids. Machida goes for a knee on a Muay Thai clinch but looks like he missed and Herb Dean breaks the fighters up from a clinch. Machida looks to be bleeding from the mouth. Shogun lands another good right hand off the clinch.

One minute left, it doesn't appear that either fighter is panicking about the score as the both remain patient. Twenty seconds left and neither fighter continues to push action. Now they get into a final exchange before the horn sounds and both fighters raise their hands. Very tough fight to call. Judges award unanimous decision to Machida.

Cain Velasquez v. Ben Rothwell: Cain Velasquez has this Los Angeles crowd behind him as he attempts to defeat a bigger opponent tonight. Rothwell stands right in front of him and looks to punch straight through him. That's what Duke Roufus students do. Velasquez goes for the takedown and lands it, but Rothwell backs up to the cage and uses it to get back up.

More exchanges go back and forth before Velasquez lands another takedown. This is not where you want to be when fighting Cain Velasquez, under his ground and pound. Rothwell moves back to his feet and Velasquez immediately takes him back down. Rothwell eats some hard shots from the bottom position. More shots rain down from Velasquez as he stands over Rothwell. Rothwell can only try to get to his feet, but any time he's successful, Velasquez takes him right back down. Most lopsided round of the night ends.

Referee Steve Mazzagatti said something to Rothwell before this round — probably letting him know how close he was to stopping that first round. Velasquez lands the takedown to start the second round, Rothwell backs up to the cage and Velasquez lands a flurry of left arms and Mazzagatti steps in. Rothwell is upset, he did look to be conscious and with it at the time of the stoppage. In Mazzagatti's defense, his head was snapping back pretty hard with those shots. Either way, Velasquez wins by TKO.

Gleison Tibau v. Josh Neer: Tibau dictates the early action, landing a combination and then shooting a takedown that gets a reaction from the crowd. Neer works back to his feet though and comes back with a strong leg kick. But Tibau again with a strong body slam takedown. Neer fights him off again and gets back to his feet. Fairly even standup goes back and forth before Tibau lands another takedown and tries to stay on top by pushing Neer back into the fence, but Neer is able to stand again. Nice job of getting back to his feet by Neer but those takedowns are scoring points.

Second round starts just like the first — Tibau scores the takedown and Neer gets back to his feet. With three minutes left, Tibau finally capitalizes on a takedown by mounting Neer and then taking his back. He's working for the rear naked but doesn't look like it's too deep. Neer escapes and it's back to the feet and Tibau looks tired. He's sluggish and he's leaving his hands down. Neer looking for something but Tibau keeps him at a distance with the jab. Another round goes to Tibau.

Tibau lands an early takedown to start the third round. Neer squirms away and gets back to his feet where he's going to be looking for the knockout punch because he's probably down on the scorecards. Neer lands a night right hand after breaking away from the clinch. That break between rounds wasn't enough for Tibau, he's visibly tired.

The crowd starts booing for lack of action, which is mostly because Tibau keeps backing away. Two minutes left, Tibau gets the takedown and he'll probably look to chew up some clock here. Neer gets back to his feet with 1:30 to go. Tibau catches a break when action stops to fix Neer's tape, and Neer looks disappointed at the call because he can see his opponent is fatigued. Time runs out on Neer and he shakes his head in frustration. Tibau wins by unanimous decision.

Joe Stevenson v. Spencer Fisher: The lightweight fight begins with a lot of feinting, as both fighters try to get a feel for one another. Stevenson lands a left hook that opens a cut over Fisher's right eye and gets an 'Oh' from the crowd. Stevenson shoots for the first takedown of the night but it's stuffed by Fisher.

They work into a clinch against the cage long enough that referee Herb Dean steps in to break them apart. Stevenson looks to be finding a groove, landing combinations and smiling while doing it. He shoots a takedown and ends the round looking to take Fisher's back. Good round for Stevenson.

Stevenson gets caught with a counter while leaning in on a straight right hand but shrugs it off to open the second round. Now, he takes Fisher down and looks to work out of his guard. Stevenson was able to mount for a second but gets bucked off into half-guard where he lands some good elbow shots. Now he traps both Fisher's arms down, leaving him helpless to more elbows. Fisher ends up trying to signal a tapout with his heel. It's a solid TKO win for Stevenson.

"My little sister and big sister used to team-up and do that to me when I was little," the charismatic Stevenson said of the trap he executed on Fisher. "They were trying to put make-up on me."

Anthony Johnson v. Yoshiyuki Yoshida: The main card officially starts and Yoshida is immediately outmatched as Johnson starts teeing off at will. Yoshida is already out with Johnson connecting on a straight right hand to finish the welterweight fight. Johnson goes straight towards the aisle where UFC President Dana White is sitting and starts yelling something to him. White stands up smiling, applauding and nodding his head.

The 25-year-old Johnson only needed 41 seconds to improve his UFC record to 8-2.

"I saw a big head in front of me, so I decided to hit it," Johnson said.

Prelims:

Ryan Bader v. Eric Schafer: Bader and Schafer touch gloves and the action begins in the light heavyweight fight. Both fighters try working off their jabs until Bader throws a wild right-hand haymaker that misses. Bader comes forward and lands a big right hand that knocks Schafer down with 2:30 left in the round.

Schafer is still trying to recover but Bader is all over him. Schafer works to his feet and is doing his best to cover up. Finally Schafer is able to slow down the pace by clinching up to Bader and trapping his right arm. Now Schafer goes for armbar attempt but Bader slips out to end first round.

Going for the knockout may have taken something out of Bader in the first round. He doesn't look exhausted to open the second round, but isn't as light on his feet as he looked earlier. Schafer, meanwhile, looks great for the beating he took during the first five minutes.

Both fighters seem content to basically box right now with neither looking for any kind of takedown attempt. Schafer lands a big left hook counter with over a minute left that stumbles Bader momentarily, but comes back with his own right hook. With 10 seconds left, Bader finally goes for a takedown that Schafer defends.

Bader lands a huge overhand right that floors Schafer less then a minute into the third round. The sound of the impact echoed around Staples Center, but Schafer survives again.

Referee Josh Rosenthal stops the action due to a cut on the nose of Schafer. The fight resumes and it's Schafer that pushes forward, landing several impressive combinations. With just over a minute left, Bader takes the fight to the ground and gains side control, but can't finish the fight. He still gets the win though, by unanimous decision.

"I felt like my standup was a lot better," Bader said. "I was pretty exhausted after the first round. Going into the second my arms were really tired."

Antoni Hardonk v. Pat Barry: Barry holds up his arm to touch gloves before the heavyweight bout starts, but Hardonk turns him down. Interesting. Both fighters look to get their hands and legs going early, exchanging quick strikes. Action temporarily stops because it looks like Barry got poked in the eye.

Hardonk lands a few good jabs as fight resumes. Barry is still blinking out of that right eye like he can't see out of it, and it does look like blood is coming from the area. Hardonk shoots and Barry sprawls, rolls him over and moves to side control. Hardonk is able to get to his feet and both fighters get shots in before end of round.

Barry comes through with two big straight punches to start second round. Then another straight puts Hardonk down but Barry didn't run after him. He just gave Hardonk a second life right there. Hardonk was hurt badly and Barry didn't finish him. That eye may be throwing his mental game off. Hardonk goes down again after a straight right and this time Barry jumps on him and finishes him off. Barry is going crazy with emotion. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva steps in and Barry gives him a big hug.

"The first thing I learned when I started MMA is that looping punches don't work all the time," Barry said.

Yushin Okami v. Chael Sonnen: Sonnen goes for a takedown early in the fourth fight of UFC 104, which is briefly defended by Okami before Sonnen lands the takedown. Okami works his way to his feet, but Sonnen picks him up and bodyslams for another takedown. Okami stands up again, and breaks free. Sonnen stays aggressive, attempting two strikes to Okami's one. With under 20 seconds, both fighters in this middleweight bout land decent strikes to end the round.

Okami lands the first big shot of the second round with a hard countering left hook. Sonnen goes for a takedown and Okami is able to weather it and stand back up and break. It's turned into a kickboxing match now and Okami gets a few good shots in with a combination to Sonnen's jaw. The exchanges are fairly even though right now. Seems like every time one fighter lands a shot, the other responds with a bigger one. Fairly even second round ends.

Sonnen is pushing the action and scoring points more often than Okami in the third round. He's using feints and stringing punches together that have really taken Okami out of rhythm. It's not a one-sided fight by any means, but Okami has definitely taken the role of a counter puncher.

Sonnen shoots and again lands a highlight type body slam. He follows it up by taking Okami's back and throwing punches towards the side of his head. Okami pulls guard and attempts a kimura but couldn't find the leverage to finish it. Great fight for the underdog Sonnen, he wins by unanimous decision.

"I went right after him," Sonnen said. "Yushin doesn't push the action, but he's always ready to fight."

Jorge Rivera v. Rob Kimmons: Kimmons works his way forward and puts Rivera's back to the cage to start the third fight of UFC 104 in Los Angeles. The 37-year-old Rivera pushes him off occasionally, trying to clear room to strike, but Kimmons maintains the pressure.

Finally, Rivera turns the middleweight fight around to put Kimmons's back to the cage. He creates some separation and lights up Kimmons with a quick combination to his head. The fight eventually heads to the center of the Octagon where the two stand and both land a few good shots. Rivera lands a good knee from the Muay Thai clinch, but Kimmons is able to land a take down coming forward with under a minute left in the round. Kimmons finishes strong but probably lost the round.

Kimmons goes for an early takedown attempt to open the second. Rivera defends it though and throws a knee that narrowly misses rocking Kimmons' face. Kimmons shoots and Rivera sprawls and puts Kimmons on his back.

Kimmons is doing nothing but protecting himself at this point. Rivera pushes his body against the cage and lands one strike after another. They're not enough to finish the fight yet, but one has to think it's coming. With 30 seconds left, Rivera lets Kimmons get to his feet, but is unable to land a big blow before the end of the round.

Rivera smells blood to start the third round and lands a few big exchanges that puts Kimmons down. He's still not done, but a big elbow opens up a nasty cut on his forehead. It looks like he's having a hard time seeing with the blood flowing directly down into his eye. Rivera continues throwing shots and the fight is over. Rivera wins by third round TKO.

"My main motivating factor for this fight was my children," Rivera said. "I have three kids to feed. My biggest fear is not being able to provide for them."

Kyle Kingsbury v. Razak Al-Hassan: The second fight starts with a clinch and it's Al-Hassan that lands the take down. Kingsbury does a nice job of reversing position though and soon has Al-Hassan mounted. But Al-Hassan does a terrific job of locking Kingsbury up to prevent much damage.

Fans start calling for the fight to be stood up. After a few more minutes, the referee brings the fighters back to their feet. A few exchanges go back and forth before the end of the round.

The fight briefly goes to the ground to start the second round before winding up in a clinch against the side of the Octagon. Al-Hassan lands a big knee to Kingsbury's head after putting his back to the cage. Neither fighter lands much as they continue to clinch, Kingsbury gets a few good shots in before the end of the round.

Kingsbury is bleeding a little from a cut near his right eye early in the third round. Al-Hassan lands a hard right hand counter with Kingsbury coming in. The two clinch and Kingsbury would probably like to take this fight to the ground. He's going for double underhooks but Al-Hassan is defending it. Kingsbury drags him down for a second, but Al-Hassan is right back to his feet.

The fight ends with Kingsbury unsuccessful in trying to take his opponent down, but he still wins the fight by split decision. It's the first UFC win for 27-year-old Kingsbury, a native of San Jose, Calif.

"You never want to go the distance. I know I made some mistakes," Kingsbury said. "I'll tweak some things and work on my cardio. The fans let us know they weren't happy."

Chase Gormley v. Stefan Struve: Struve lands a big leg kick to start the night off here in Los Angeles. Gormley takes a few more kicks before shooting and taking down Struve. Gormley lands a few good shots from Struve's guard. He's standing over the downed Struve, but he should be careful because Struve is known to lock in triangle chokes from this position. The two roll out and Struve is on top and he rains down hammerfists onto Gormley. It looks tlike the referee is seconds away from calling the fight, but Gormley survives the assault. He's still in a bad position though and the 21-year-old Struve secures the triangle for a first round submission win.

"I'm getting better every fight so keep looking out for me," said Struve, who improved his UFC record to 2-1.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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