If there's a way to make a weight class change in one's thirties look more flawless than Lyoto Machida's middleweight debut at UFC Fight Night 30 on Saturday, it would have to be extraordinarily spectacular. Machida, along with each of the other winners of the post-fight bonuses, earned $50,000 for his Knockout of the Night award at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion, 35, dispatched friend and training partner Mark Munoz, 35, at just 3:10 of the first round with a blistering head kick. Munoz was able to partially block the strike, but to no avail. The thundering kick sent Munoz crashing to the mat, his arms flailing above his head. Machida dove in to finish him off, but pulled back at the last minute as referee Leon Roberts intervened.
Machida's victory raises his record to 20-4 while Munoz slides to 13-4.
While the middleweight pair began the fight rocking each other with winging punches, it was Musoke's armbar from the guard which he turned into a Russian variation that ended the bout on the ground. The tap came officially at 3:07 of the very first round round. Musoke climbs to 11-2-1 in MMA while Sakara drops to 15-11 with 1 no-contest.
Last, but certainly not least, middleweights Andrew Craig and Luke Barnett each earned Fight of the Night honors with their two-round chaotic affair. Barnatt, 25, pumped his jab the entire first round, but close to the end of the frame drilled Craig, 27, with a one-two combination that sent the American reeling. Barnatt, however, failed to capitalize and Craig was able to make it to the second frame. The Brit would not be held back, though, and used an uppercut to rock Craig again. As the American tried to recover, Barnett landed a hip toss where he was able to secure back control and eventually a rear naked choke 2:12 of the second round.
The win brings Barnatt's record to 7-0 while Craig slides to 9-2.