Following a controversial decision at UFC 104, where light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida edged out Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a unanimous decision, it is only right a rematch would follow.
UFC President, Dana White, revealed — in a postfight press conference — that the two fighters would participate in an “immediate rematch,” reports ESPN.
According to White, he’s already gotten verbal commitments from both Machida and Rua, and that the UFC already has plans to schedule their next meeting.
At press time, there was no set timeframe of when the fight would be scheduled, but it should be soon.
In a five-round decision, the champ Machida was given the victory, but a narrow margin if any. But, fans didn’t agree. As the belt was strapped around his waist, the crowd at the Staples Center booed.
While Machida backed the judges’ decision, he agreed that his performance should’ve been better, and says next time it will.
“I was 100 percent, but sometimes when you get in there, your strategy doesn’t always work like you planned it to,” he said. “I would have liked to perform better, but it happens sometimes. I’m going to go home and watch the fight and when we fight again I’ll have a different plan and strategy.”
Even White didn’t agree with the decision, revealing that he felt Rua won. “I thought ‘Shogun’ won the fight,” said White.
White says the controversial decision will lead to an effort for better refereeing in the future, so close fights will be judged properly.
“It drives me crazy when these guys put so much time and work and effort into these fights, going out there and fighting like that, and then not getting the right call,” said White. “But the answer is ‘yes.’ We’re working hard to try and get better referees and get better judging and make sure that this doesn’t happen. It’s disappointing.”
Shogun agreed with White, explaining that he thought he had won three of the five rounds, which would result in a win.
“In my opinion, I thought I’d won the last three rounds,” he said, through his manager and translator Eduardo Alonso. “My cornermen told me I was winning the fight. Everybody that has spoke to me after the fight has told me the same thing, that they thought that I won.”
Both men say they will go home, watch their performances to see what needs to be improved.
Their next meeting should be exciting, especially since both fighters want to make sure it’s not up to the judges and a more clearcut win.