Last night Dana White was having an event with two main events, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida against Strong up and comer Ryan Bader, and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua faced Brandon Vera with the most impressive winner out of the two matches getting a shot at the light heavyweight championship as determined by White. Machida put on a striking clinic, showing off his ever improving karate skills with sharp kicks to the body Arizona State wrestling honed Bader and ended the fight by knockout at the start of the second round when Bader tried to charge in behind a big right hand. Machida was ready for it, showing why he is considered one of the greatest counter-strikers, blocking that big right hand and firing his own straight right to the jaw of his opponent with precision and power.
It was an impressive win and you could hear the announcers debating how much that did or didn't come in to the thinking of Rua and Vera. For my money I think both men were more focused simply on winning than how they got the victory. Vera arguably needed the victory more after a long couple of years of performing below what everyone including himself expected of him and both men fought valiantly in to the fourth round. The big surprise of the fight was strategy, Rua has often been called out for his in your face, pounding style however on that night he was pushing the ground game, initiating several takedowns and working side control effectively in multiple rounds. It wasn't all Shogun however, both men had cuts to their brows and Vera showed some incredibly effective combinations leading in to leg and body kicks, and Vera even let fly a few head kicks, catching Shogun once or twice but it wasn't enough and Mauricio eventually won by a TKO.
At the end of it all the question was would Machida winning in dominating fashion or Rua grinding it out impress Dana White more. Obviously the tile shows you what choice he made, and Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida is going to be getting another shot at gold and glory.