UFC 104 live results
Lyoto Machida-"Shogun" Rua, UFC light-heavyweight championship:
Lyoto Machida retains light-heavyweight championship.
All three scorecards: 48-47.
Here's a round-by-round recap:
First round: Lots of kicks, a little too much downtime, and maybe Machida's first lost round yet. Rua landed some hard kicks to Machida's legs, and Machida's attempts to charge in for a knee and more were muted by Rua's own advances. They wasted time with Rua pinning Machida to the cage. Rua pressed the action a little more, and was a strong defender.
Second round: Some good left kicks by Machida, but Rua is at this point looking like the champ's equal. They both score with right kicks to the chest. They pose in karate stances too long, and Rua ends round pressing Machida to cage again.
Third round: Machida opens with two left kicks to body. Rua gets in a left punch to face. The crowd urges more action, booing. Rua misses a wild right kick. Rua sends forearm blow to head, no real damage. Rua hard right kick to Machida's left leg. Rua charges with a flurry of punches and kicks. Machida kicks, backs away, then comes forward again with fists. With 35 seconds left, Machida charges impressively with hard knee to gut, and sends in flurry of punches as Rua backs up to cage during assault.
Fourth round: Machida stepping a bit gingerly on left leg. Rua kicking at it. Machida kicks to head. Machida kicks and slips, Rua approaches, Machida holds him and they separate. Rua hits Machida on break. Rua right kick to body. Again. Machida not pressing. More boos. Lots of dancing, little fighting in last minute.
Fifth round: Rua is fresh in corner, sipping water, listening to advice. Fighters touch hands. Rua right kick to gut. Good Rua kick to Machida's left leg. Nice left kick to body by champ, but no follow-up. Rua flings punches, he's more aggressive. Rua right kick backs Machida to cage. Machida had tried to land hurtful knees. Right kick to body by Rua. More forward fighting by Rua. Good late exchange, horn sounds.
Other pay-per-view fights:
The Staples crowd responded warmly to the Spanish music accompanying the ring walk of Cain Velasquez from Salinas, Calif. Velasquez gave up more than 25 pounds to opponent Ben Rothwell, but took him down in the first minute and worked to leverage his college wrestling experience and used it to punish Rothwell on the canvas, with punches to the head.
Velasquez at one point delivered 11 punches to Rothwell's dome, then re-positioned to hit him nine more times, and he then mounted Rothwell again to send him a half-dozen lefts to the head. In the end, Rothwell wobbled as he stood at the round's close.
Rothwell found himself pinned against the cage early in the second round, and Velasquez uncorked at least six straight left hooks to the chin, causing referee Steve Mazzagatti to stop the fight at the 58-second mark.
The crowd roared its approval to the UFC's new rising star, who now has a 7-0 record.
Velasquez said even if the fight was stopped early, "I would've taken him down again." He spoke Spanish to the L.A. crowd and announcer Joe Rogan said, "The hype was justified."
Brazilian Gleison Tibau (30-6) won a lackluster fight against lightweight opponent Josh Neer (25-9-1), relying on more comprehensive MMA skills to win by unanimous decision.
Victorville’s Joe Stevenson (36-10) pounded fellow veteran lightweight Spencer Fisher with repeated forearm blows to the head, causing Fisher (24-5) to tap out at the 4:03 mark of the second round. Stevenson had cut Fisher in the right eye area in the first, and battered him on the head while mounting Fisher's back. Stevenson is 2-0 under the direction of elite trainer Greg Jackson (Georges St-Pierre and Rashad Evans).
One of the differences between UFC and other major sports: Fisher's shorts were sponsored by a condom company.
Welterweight Anthony Johnson of San Jose displayed lightning-like punching power in knocking out Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-4) in just 41 seconds. Johnson (8-2) apologized to the UFC and fans for weighing in 6 pounds above the 170-pound weight limit, and said he may ultimately move to middleweight.
Of his one-sided performance, Johnson said, "I saw a big face in front of me and I decided to punch it."Pre-pay-per-view undercard:
Westchester's Antoni Hardonk suffered a second-round TKO loss at the hands of Pat Barry. Barry landed punches liberally in the first, despite sustaining a poked right eye.
After delivering sharp rights to the face and throat, Barry (5-1) knocked down Hardonk (8-5) with a right to the top of the heavyweight's head, then pounded a right-left exchange on the ground that caused referee Josh Rosenthal to stop the bout.
Unbeaten Ryan Bader (11-0), the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 8" and a former Pacific 10 Conference wrestling champion from Arizona State, produced a furious first round against light-heavyweight foe Eric "Red" Schafer (13-4-2) by unleashing powerful blows and slamming him.
Bader looked winded in the second round, and sustained a straight right to the chin. He recovered in the third to blast a right that cut Schafer at the eye and nose, proceeding to a unanimous decision.
Middleweight Jorge Rivera roughed up Rob Kimmons throughout their bout, particularly during a ground-and-pound clinic in the second round. Kimmons lasted until 1:53 into the third round after getting knocked down by a right and badly cut on the forehead, causing a brief stoppage. Rivera (17-7) resumed ground-and-pound duty, and seconds later was awarded the TKO victory.
Journeyman Chael Sonnen (25-10-1) outworked Yushin Okami (24-5) in a middleweight fight that went the distance, slamming Okami three times and getting the better of some entertaining exchanges to win a unanimous decision.
Stefan Struve defeated Los Angeles' previously unbeaten Chase Gormley in a heavyweight bout by forcing Gormley to tap out while in a first-round triangle chokehold.
Kyle Kingsbuy defeated Razak Al-Hassan by split decision.
Welterweight Anthony "Rumble" Johnson weighed in 5 pounds over Friday for his UFC 104 bout against Japan's Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
The mixed martial arts fight Saturday night at Staples Center will go ahead with the 6-foot-2 Johnson forfeiting 20% of his purse to his Japanese opponent.
Gleison Tibau (157) and Josh Neer (156.5) both missed the 155-pound limit. They agreed to fight at a catchweight.
All other fighters made weight with light-heavyweight champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida at 202.5 and challenger Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at 204.5.
Co-main heavyweights Cain Velasquez and "Big" Ben Rothwell were 238 and 265 pounds, respectively.