Sunday, May 24, 2009

Machida defeats Evans to win title

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida stopped Rashad Evans at 3:57 of the second round to win the light heavyweight title at UFC 98 on Saturday night.

Machida landed a barrage of punches that sent Evans reeling up against the cage and finished him off with a left hand that folded Evans backwards onto the canvas.

"I've tried all my life to become a champion and I am very, very happy," a jubilant Machida said. "Now I'm going to keep this belt for a long time."

The light heavyweight title has now changed hands four times in the last five title bouts.

In the co-main event earlier, Matt Hughes won a unanimous decision against Matt Serra in a matchup of former welterweight champions.

Serra took the advantage early on, flooring Hughes with strikes in the first round. Hughes was able to fight back utilizing his superior wrestling ability and controlled the final two rounds with all three judges scoring the fight 29-28.

The two embraced after the fight and seemed to put the bad blood behind them.

The fighters developed a heated rivalry while coaching opposing teams on "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show and were scheduled to meet at UFC 79 in December 2007 when Serra pulled out of the bout due to injury.

When asked what his plans for the future were, Hughes said," I'm still motivated to compete so we'll see what happens. I'd like to fight in my home area."

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