Tonight, the UFC celebrated the return of a great fighter and former champion. But unfortunately for the Brazilian crowd in Sao Paulo, the celebration was quickly halted, as Derek Brunson knocked out Lyoto Machida in the first round of their UFC Fight Night main event.
Machida was competing in the UFC for the first time since 2015 at the Ginasio do Ibirapuera. In April 2016, Machida was pulled from a scheduled bout with Dan Henderson after admitting to taking 7-Keto-DHEA, a banned substance. He was suspended for 18 months by USADA.
The fight started off slow, with both men circling around the center of the Octagon, both staying patient. Brunson tried to go after Machida, but it looked like Machida was proving to be too quick for Brunson. Machida would either side-step or lean away, while other times landing a counter-strike.
But all it took was one left hook to put Machida on the canvas, giving Brunson the win in just two-and-a-half minutes.
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“I definitely got up for this fight,” Brunson said after the bout. “Lyoto’s never gonna lose his skills. I saw that opening, but hey, I’m a bad man.”
This is now Brunson’s second consecutive win. He improves his professional MMA record to 18-5 and now holds victories over key middleweights such as Machida, Uriah Hall, Lorenz Larkin and Chris Leben.
Machida, meanwhile, has now lost three of his last four bouts.
When asked about who he might want to fight next, Brunson had a name on his mind — the former UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold.
“Luke Rockhold, where you at, baby, let’s run this!” Brunson said.
UFC Sao Paulo Main Card Results (10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1):
Middleweight: Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida via KO (Rd. 1, 2:30)
Welterweight: Colby Covington def. Demian Maia via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Bantamweight: Pedro Munhoz def. Rob Font via submission (guillotine choke) (Rd. 1, 4:03)
Lightweight: Francisco Trinaldo def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight: Thiago Santos def. Jack Hermansson via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:59)
Bantamweight: John Lineker def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC Sao Pualo Preliminary Card Results (8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 2):
Welterweight: Vicente Luque def. Niko Price via submission (d’arce choke) (Rd. 2, 4:08)
Middleweight: Antonio Carlos Junior def. Jack Marshman via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 4:30)
Lightweight: Jared Gordon def. Hacran Dias via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-27, 30-26)
Welterweight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Max Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
UFC Sao Paulo Early Prelim Card Results (7 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)
Flyweight: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Jarred Brooks via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Heavyweight: Marcelo Golm def. Christian Colombo via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 2, 2:08)