UFC Fight Night 36: Lyoto Machida in middleweight title mix after beating Gegard Mousasi
Lyoto Machida pressed his claims for a middleweight title shot with a unanimous decision win over Gegard Mousasi.
By James Dielhenn (@jamesdielhenn)
Last Updated: 16/02/14 1:24pm
The elusive karate-based striker remains one of the UFC's most unsolvable puzzles and took Mousasi apart without significant reply over the course of 25 minutes.
Machida is likely to face the winner of the middleweight title clash between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort in an attempt to add his name to a short list of multi-divisional champions, having already captured gold at light-heavyweight.
Saturday night's fight was vintage Machida - the veteran Brazilian was last seen knocking out Mark Munoz in Manchester and that familiar style of striking was evident again last night.
His quickness set the tone in the first round before he began to open up in the second, scoring the best shot of the fight with a head kick that Mousasi did well to fight through.
Mousasi's poker face was bloodied in the third as Machida repeatedly employed a left kick.
Mousasi's frustrations were compounded when he landed an illegal kick at the end of the fourth, but even that wouldn't throw Machida off his pace.
An otherwise typical night in his homeland was marred by an injured foot, no doubt hurt throughout his kicking blitz.
Weidman defends his 185-pound title against Belfort on May 24 and Machida will be awaiting the outcome.