Ryan Bader made it to the second round before he got knocked cold by Lyoto Machida. Bader couldn’t have looked more frustrated as the fight wore on. With inefficient attempts to get close enough to even hit Machida, let alone go for a takedown, Bader instead tried to rush him. At the end Machida called it right and knocked Bader out with his right hand in the second round at 1:32.
With a slow start behind him, Machida tried to draw in Bader using hand movements and was then able to kick Bader in the body and left him marked up. There was no doubt left that Machida owned this fight and it was only a matter of time before we’d see Bader go down.
This was a big win for Machida since Dana White said earlier that a title fight would go to one of the four light-heavyweights in the main card that were the most impressive. This means that Bader’s out but Brandon Vera and Mauricio Rua are still in the running.
After the fight Machida was pleased with his performance and said that he was feeling very well. He also added, “The Dragon’s back.”
Bader now sits at 14-3 after his last two wins while Machida is at 18-3 since his last fight loss to Jones.
This was more of a blink-your-eyes-and-it’s-over type of match and while you couldn’t say that it was the most dominating fight by Machida he certainly seemed to control things from the start. Bader couldn’t connect with a serious strike and as soon as he did make his move it was over.
In all likelihood Machida will end up being the number one contender for the light heavyweight UFC title. It’s unlikely that Vera or Rua will have a victory that’s more dominant than what was seen in this fight.