Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida is back in the win column!
The 39-year-old former Light Heavyweight Champion took on Eryk Anders in the main event of UFC Fight Night 125 in Brazil.
With the crowd firmly behind Machida, the two fighters touched gloves and they were off. Machida, as always, started off in his wide, karate stance, waiting to strike. He didn’t wait long, though, and landed a body kick early. A little over a minute into the ground, The Dragon landed a leg kick that took Anders to the ground. Machida landed in his guard, but had no desire to stay there. He stood back up and kicked Eryk, who wanted to play some open guard. Anders tried to scoot away and get up, but Lyoto wouldn’t let him.
Machida passed to half guard and landed a few strikes, but Anders got up, and the two were fighting on their feet again. The Dragon landed another leg kick, but Anders stayed up. Machida continued his evasive ways, hopping back and forth and forcing his opponent to guess where he was going to move next. With only ten seconds left, Lyoto threw a huge one-two punch and landed another leg kick before the round ended.
Round 2 and Machida looked like he was going for a kick, but Anders met him with a punch that off balanced him. Eryk pressed Machida against the cage, but couldn’t cause any damage. The two broke away and continued the match in the middle of the cage.
Anders stalked Machida around the perimeter. Lyoto hit him with a small inside leg kick and a few short jabs, but he never stayed in the same spot for long. Lyoto ran in for a punch, but again Anders met him with some strikes of his own. The Dragon moved away before Anders could cause any damage, though.
Machida landed another inside leg kick, and the cat-and-mouse game continued. He landed another leg kick and followed up with some quick punches.
Eryk came in with a big left hand and tried to take The Dragon down with a double leg, but Machida got away before the round ended.
Anders got the takedown in Round 3, though, when he caught one of Machida’s body kicks. The Dragon didn’t stay down long, though. He was, however, bleeding profusely from his face. Still, Lyoto looked light on his feet, and continued his evasive ways.
— UFC (@ufc) February 4, 2018
The Dragon landed a body kick and continued to force Eryk to chase him. Occasionally The Dragon would stop to strike, but he never stayed in the pocket for long.
With about 30 seconds to go, Anders finally caught up and landed a big punch that wobbled Machida. Again he tried to take him down, but Machida got away before the round ended.
Lyoto landed a punch early in Round 4, which Anders followed with a big swing and miss. Machida then came in with another body kick and Eryk tried to follow up with a takedown.
The cat-and-mouse game continued. Anders however floored Lyoto with a punch a little over the two-minute mark. Machida worked his way up, but Eryk pressed him up against the fence.
The Dragon bled all over his opponent as Anders struggled to take him down before the two broke up. They didn’t stay separated for long, though, and Anders was soon pressing Machida up against the fence.
Eryk managed to take his opponent down, but again Lyoto struggled his way up. Machida broke away before the round ended.
The Dragon went for the legs again in the fifth and final round, landing a solid leg kick. Soon after, Machida went for a head kick, but Eryk blocked it.
Machida had no desire to slow down in the final round, and the chase continued. With a little over two minutes left, Anders caught up and pressed Machida against the cage, but Machida broke away.
— UFC (@ufc) February 4, 2018
Lyoto landed a spinning back kick in the last minute of the fight, but Anders responded by taking the back and taking Machida down. A brief flurry ensued, but the match ended, forcing the decision into the hands of the judges.
That decision went into the hands of Lyoto Machida.