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Lyoto Machida claims 'illegal shot' was turning point in loss to Luke Rockhold

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has never looked worse than he did in his last fight.

Machida took a stunning beating from Luke Rockhold in the main event of UFC on FOX 18 on April 18 in Newark before losing via second-round submission. Rockhold's victory was so thorough that it helped give him the edge in securing a title shot against current champion Chris Weidman.

According to Machida, however, the tide turned in the fight due to an illegal elbow.

"I've watched it maybe 3-4 times, that fight," Machida said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I saw that I got an elbow on my neck, he elbowed my neck and I was so dizzy that time. Then, when I went to corner, I barely hear my brother, so when I got back to the fight, I was so dizzy, my legs were wobbly. I wasn't recovered. So suddenly I fell again, and he was smart and capitalized."

Machida, who fights Yoel Romero in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card in Hollywood, Fla. on June 27, doesn't believe Rockhold deliberately fouled him. But he still finds it to be a turning point in the bout.

"I thought that was illegal shot," Machida said. "But, it's not a problem because it's a fight, something happens sometime. I think it wasn't on purpose, but I think it happened, it made me bad."