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Lyoto Machida looks like a force at new weight class

Maligned illegal-knee rule condemns co-main event to a no-contest



Lyoto Machida battles during his UFC 157 light-heavyweight match in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Machida won by split decision against Dan Henderson after the third round.

Note: Full results from the preliminary card available at the bottom of the page.

The preparation for UFC Fight Night 30 was unlike any other Lyoto Machida had gone through.

For the former light heavyweight champion to drop weight classes from the 205- to the 185-pound division, he had to make drastic lifestyle changes in addition to the normal rigorous training routine.

“It was very hard for me,” Machida said immediately after Saturday’s event in Manchester, England. “I did a very strict diet for a month, but I got here.”

“I will stay at 185. I would like to fight here.”

That was a given after the UFC Fight Night 30 main event. Machida rang in the start of his drop to middleweight with the fastest knockout of his career.

He kicked through the outstretched hand of No. 5-ranked middleweight Mark Munoz and connected with his training partner’s head to stop the fight at 3:10 of the first round. Machida rushed in but caught himself from throwing any more strikes when he realized Munoz was unconscious before the referee did.

He apologized to Munoz after the fellow Los Angeles-based fighter came to his senses and exhaled knowing he got through the undesirable assignment.

“Now everything is over,” Machida said. “The friendship will keep going.”

Friends also faced off in the co-main event, which didn’t end as cordially. The only adjective for the lightweight bout’s ending was controversial.

The fight resulted in a no-contest when Melvin Guillard accidentally landed an illegal knee on Ross Pearson at 1:57 of the second round. Pearson put his hand down, which in the rules makes him a grounded opponent, just as Guillard fired the second of two knees into his forehead.

Click to enlarge photo

Melvin Guillard reacts after making weight during the weigh in for UFC 132 Friday, July 1, 2011 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pearson never went out, but Guillard opened a gash in the middle of Pearson's face. Doctors wouldn’t allow the fight to go on with the cut.

“I was illegally attacked, but it happens in this sport,” Pearson said. “I’ll come back stronger from this. Me and Melvin will do it again.”

The incident could be the tipping point to get the excessive rule amended, as UFC President Dana White has been attempting for months.

“When you’re in here fighting, you’re not thinking about the guy’s next move,” Guillard said. “You’re reacting to what you can do. Unfortunately, that’s not the nature of being a fighter. If you’re in here thinking too much, you’re not winning fights.”

Check below for the rest of the results from UFC Fight Night 30.

Jimi Manuwa defeated Ryan Jimmo with a TKO at 4:41 of the second round, but it wasn’t exactly what the London native wanted. The stoppage came because Jimmo collapsed with a leg injury after a seemingly inconsequential knee from the clinch.

Norman Parke got the stand-up battle he wanted in a lightweight bout against Jon Tuck. Parke converted on the stylistic preference, defeating Tuck by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

In his first UFC bout, Nicholas Musoke was able to beat a veteran making his 15th appearance in the octagon. Musoke submitted Alessio Sakara at 3:07 of the first round.

John Lineker knocked out Phil Harris at 2:51 of the first round after missing the flyweight limit yesterday to force the bout to be contested at a 128-pound catchweight.

Al Iaquinta beat Piotr Hallman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in a lightweight bout.

Click to enlarge photo

Luke Barnatt hits Collin Hart with a right during their bout at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Barnatt won by unanimous decision.

Luke Barnatt submitted Andrew Craig at 2:12 of the second round with a rear-naked choke in a middleweight bout.

Jessica Andrade put a beating on Rosi Sexton, winning their women’s bantamweight bout by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26).

Cole Miller won a unanimous decision over Andy Ogle in a featherweight bout, taking the first two rounds before Ogle came on strong a little too late in the third.

Jimy Hetes defeated Rob Whiteford by submission (triangle choke) at 2:17 of the second round in a featherweight bout.

Brad Scott submitted Michael Kuiper at 4:17 of the first round with a front choke in a middleweight bout.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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