If you loved Lyoto Machida when he was at his peak, the last few years have been hard on you.
First, the former champ somehow lost his ability to take a punch, so whenever he gets into the cage there’s a good chance he’ll wind up in a coma.
Then there’s the fact that he was on the wrong end of a USADA suspension, which kept him away from the UFC for so long.
Yes, folks, we’re seeing the last days of “The Dragon”, and it’s heartbreaking to see him go out like this. But Machida still has fans, especially in Brazil, so why not squeeze a little more juice out of him? Why not put him in the main event of UFC Fight Night 125, against Eryk Anders, an up-and-coming slugger?
The trick for Machida, as it always is, is to do that karate stuff he does so well, but do it without making any mistakes. And he barely makes any through much of the first and second rounds, staying elusive and mobile while dodging takedown attempt and flicking out his karate kicks and reverse punches. Anders is stuck pursuing, and largely hitting air.
Only in the third does the American start to make his mark, nailing a takedown and, later on, planting a knee in Machida’s chops that opens up a nice cut. Anders gets a knockdown in the fourth, and for the briefest of moments, it seems like the Brazilian is en route to getting murdered. But! Machida survives, resumes his constant movement, and the bout ends with him somehow still awake.
Though the decision is a split in favor of the former champ, it’s more of a moral victory than anything, as he gets to keep getting paid to fight.
Results: Lyoto Machida def. Eryk Anders via Split Decision