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UFC 98: Lyoto Machida Knocks Out Rashad Evans


In the first UFC fight ever to feature an undefeated champion against an undefeated challenger, Lyoto Machida knocked out Rashad Evans to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight title at UFC 98.



The first round started off very slowly, with both fighters hoping the other would make a mistake. But after that slow start, it was all Machida. A karate fighter whose style is sometimes derided as boring, Machida didn't look boring Saturday night. He simply looked dominant, with a flurry of punches in the second round knocking the champion out cold.

"I tried all my life to be a champion," Machida said afterward. "I am very, very, very happy. I want to say thank you to my fans. ... I want to keep this belt for a long time. ... If you have a dream in your life, go hard. It's possible."

Machida improved his record to 15-0, while Evans fell to 13-1-1.

"It was a good fight," Evans said in the Octagon just minutes after suffering his first loss. "Lyoto is very difficult to solve, very fast and explosive. I have to take my hat off to him."

The next fight for Machida will likely be a title defense against Rampage Jackson late this year.

In the co-main event at UFC 98, Matt Hughes defeated Matt Serra in a close unanimous decision to finish a grudge match that has been more than two years in the making. It was the 16th win in the Octagon for Hughes, tying Chuck Liddell's all-time record.

Frankie Edgar, Chael Sonnen and Drew McFedries were among the other winners at a UFC 98 event that saw six fights end with either knockouts or submissions in the first round. But the event will be remembered most of all for crowning Machida the new light heavyweight champion.

Full results are here.

Fireworks in Las Vegas

    Lyoto Machida, right, trades punches with Rashad Evans in the second round of their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Machida won by knockout in the second. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

    AP

    Rashad Evans recovers shortly after being knocked out by Lyoto Machida in the second round of their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

    AP

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida celebrates after defeating Rashad Evans (not pictured) by knockout during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyoto Machida

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    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida (R) bows to Rashad Evans (L) after Lyoto claims the title during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyoto Machida;Rashad Evans

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    Lyoto Machida, right, delivers a right to Rashad Evans in the second round of their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Lyoto won moments later by KO. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

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    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Rashad Evans falls to the floor after Lyoto Machida (not pictured) knocks him out during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rashad Evans

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    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida (R) battles Rashad Evans (L) during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyota Machida;Rashad Evans

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    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida (R) battles Rashad Evans (L) during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyoto Machida;Rashad Evans

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    Lyoto Machida celebrates his second round KO victory over Rashad Evans during their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

    AP

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Xavier Foupa-Pokam (R) battles Drew McFedries (L) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Xavier Foupa-Pokam;Drew McFedries

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