After the conclusion of the final fight at ‘UFC On FOX 4’ this evening Dana White made good on his promise to choose which of the two big 205lb winners on the card would get the next shot at the title.
It wasn’t an easy choice as both Lyoto Machida and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua had just finished their opponents in the Octagon in entertaining fights, but in the end White named Machida as the fighter who had impressed him most.
Machida will now have to wait to see who’ll he’ll face for the title as current champion Jon Jones still has to face Dan Henderson at UFC 151 first.
I believe the UFC have made the right decision here. Coming into the fight I felt Machida was the fighter who had the best chance of beating Jones, if that’s who he is to face, and he certainly gave him the toughest test of the four men on display tonight.
On the night Machida also looked the best fighter and was competing against the higher ranked opponent.
He was very confident and assured taking on Ryan Bader, and while there weren’t too many fireworks in the fight, the KO finish was specatacular – even more so when you consider that his opponent had never been stopped by strikes before in his career.
‘Shogun’ also produced a good finish over Brandon Vera, but he didn’t look at his best, appearing to get tired quite early on in the fight and had to work harder for his victory than you would expect from him if he had been at the top of his game.
Ideally the best thing to do would have been to have Machida and Shogun fight for a third time to produce a definitive No.1 contender for the title, but all in all this has worked out well for the UFC.