Chris Weidman turned the tables on Lyoto Machida and controlled the center of the octagon, dictating where the fight went. Weidman constantly backed Machida up against the fence, and this limited whatever space Machida needed to be elusive and cut his offense in half.
Weidman had some issues taking Machida down, but when he finally did he did a fantastic job at smothering Machida and making him work to get back to his feet. By the time the third round ended, you could see Machida was exhausted.
Chris Weidman is a life-long wrestler and knows how to regain weight so his body reacts positively to it. He weighed in for the middleweight division yesterday, but he allegedly walked into tonight’s fight at 209 pounds. Machida was forced to carry that body-weight and his weight cut to 185 did not help any.
Machida started to hack away at the gas-tank of Weidman by attacking the body throughout the fourth round. As time passed, you could see Weidman’s takedown attempts become less aggressive and his hands started to drop. Machida benefited greatly from this and he started to pick Weidman apart to the approval of the crowd.
Machida continued his assault at the beginning of the fifth round and that is where he started to take control of the center of the octagon. Weidman’s punches were sluggish which gave Machida time to dodge them and answer with one or two shots of his own. The middleweight champion put an end to whatever wave of momentum Machida was riding when he caught him with a quick takedown. Weidman spent a full minute in top position before the fight went back standing, and it was clear Machida needed to end the fight to win.
Machida fired off elbows, knees and punches as Weidman’s back was against the fence but he could not get the job done. The horn sounded signifying the end of the bout and the judges announced Weidman as the victor.
This was Chris Weidman’s second defense of his UFC Middleweight Championship.
Chris Weidman def. Lyoto Machida by way of Decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-46)