Lyoto Machida is the new No. 1 contender for the light heavyweight title and will face the winner of the Jon Jones and Dan Henderson fight. He shouldn't be, though. Shogun Rua fought well in a very close battle against a rejuvenated Brandon Vera and should fight Machida a third time for the spot as the No. 1 contender.
Dana White loves to feel the pulse of the crowd before he names a new No. 1 contender, but Machida looked dominant, whereas Rua didn't. He uses this as part of how he decides the title contenders. But in breaking down the two fights, Machida doesn't deserve an automatic title shot, and Rua doesn't either.
Machida Catches Bader Making a Mistake Early
Machida and Bader had a great, competitive first round of the fight. It looked very back and forth for the first half of Round 1, but as the fight wore on, Bader just looked completely overmatched. Machida was frustrating Bader with short, quick strikes.
Then the mistake came. Bader—using none of his brains—decided that it would be a good idea to charge a championship-caliber veteran fighter who is faster than him. He got knocked out on almost Friday-level proportions by Machida for making such a bad error, leaving Machida to look like a king.
Shogun Beats a Much-Improved Vera
Vera looked like a man on a mission against Rua. It was a very close fight that looked like Shogun would win the first and third rounds. However, Vera looked like he was going to win the second round. Vera had never gotten to a fourth round before.
Shogun realized this and used it to his advantage. He completely dominated a tired Vera in the fourth round and turned in a knockout victory 4:09 into the fourth round. Rua just didn't impress enough compared to Machida's quick knockout of Bader to be handed a title shot.
Dana White should have these two men fight for the No. 1 contender spot instead of handing it to Machida. Especially since the current champion has already dispatched Shogun to win the title and defeated Machida to defend it.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL draft website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.
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