Saturday night the Ginásio do Ibirapuera in Las São Paulo, Brazil played host to UFC Fight Night 119: Brunson vs. Machida. The headlining bout, of course saw Derek Brunson in a showdown with Lyoto Machida in a scheduled five round contest. Ultimately, it didn’t even go one.
UFC Vetran and former Strikeforce Fighter Derek Brunson entered the octagon Saturday having gone three and two in his last fight fights. His most recent fight saw him KO Dan Kelly at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt. A win over Machida would be a great close for Brunson’s year. Especially after falling victim to another Brazilian legend, Anderson Silva, earlier this year.
It was The Dragon, Lyoto Machida, that people were talking about heading into Saturday night at UFC Sao Paulo. Machida was making his return to the octagon after serving an eighteen month suspension for a banned substance, having fallen afoul of USADA. That’s a considerable amount of ring rust to shake off against Brunson. Machida had gone three and two in his last five fights prior to the suspension, and was looking to get back on track with a fresh start with a victory over Brunson.
It just wasn’t to be, however. The return of the Dragon was short and not so sweet. After both fighters felt each other out they began to engage, with Brunson trying to find his shot and Machida countering with a solid left to make him pay. This was looking like classic Machida, that was until Machida decided to engage further. Brunson seized the opportunity and landed a solid left that sent the Brazilian to the mat. More lefts followed. He pounced looking for the finish, dropping more punches onto Machida forcing the ref to jump in and stop the fight.
A tough ending for Machida’s comeback, but a huge win for Brunson. Prompted by Daniel Cormier after the fight, the American called out former champ Luke Rockhold for a battle somewhere down the line.
Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida by KO, Round 1, 2:30