Machida’s triumph over Henderson wouldn’t make a “Prettiest of…” list when it comes to his career but there’s no arguing against the effectiveness of his strategy in the showdown. Machida kept Henderson at bay for most of the match-up, being economical with his offensive output but doing enough to maintain control in the eyes of officials. Henderson was never able to land his patented “H-Bomb” or do much of anything with consistency, finding frustration more often than Machida’s chin. The ensuing Split Decision win was supposed to earn Machida a title-shot, though fate ultimately dealt him a different hand in the form of a closely-contested decision defeat to Phil Davis and subsequent drop to 185 pounds.
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida will start a new phase of his career this coming weekend when he dips down to middleweight with hopes of following in the footsteps of friend Anderson Silva by eventually winning divisional gold. While Machida’s main event match-up with Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30 is certainly an important moment in the 35-year old’s run, it’s definitely not the first time he’s been put in a bout with high stakes against an apt adversary. And, as history has shown, chances are good he’ll come out on top when things are said and done. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
Front-Page Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports