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Bellator 228 live blog: Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi 2

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Lyoto Machida faces off with Gegard Mousasi ahead of their middleweight main event bout Saturday at Bellator 228 in Inglewood, Calif.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the Bellator 228 live blog for Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi 2, a middleweight bout at Saturday’s Bellator event at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Lyoto Machida, who has won four straight and is 2-0 inside the Bellator cage so far, faces Gegard Mousasi, a former Bellator champion who has won eight of his last nine fights, in the main event.

This is a rematch of a five-round bout at a UFC show on Feb. 15, 2014 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, that Machida won by unanimous decision.

Check out the Bellator 228 live blog below.

Round 1: Mike Beltran is the third man inside the cage for the main event. Machida takes the center of the cage and the first minute is a feeling out process. Both men exchange some probing low kicks but not much is happening. Machida blitzes in and gets dropped by a beautiful counter right hand from Mousasi. It appears the punch more caught Machida off-balance than hurt him though as Machida is quickly back on his feet and circling. Mousasi counters a low kick from Machida but comes up short on his punches. Machida is almost solely looking to counter and Machida is very cautious, trying to find his angles. Mousasi rushes in but can’t land anything. The crowd is very pro-Mousasi but Machida silences them with a straight right hand that lands. There are a lot of feints coming from both men but not a lot of violence. Machida misses a headkick, Mousasi misses a wild right hand. Machida lands a low kick and the bell sounds.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Mousasi.

Round 2: If you wanted to score the first round 10-10 you wouldn’t be wrong. Not a lot happened and the second round starts the same way: plenty of feints, very little action. Machida throws a low kick and Mousasi counters with a combination that misses. Mousasi charges forward with a long combination, not much lands but it does get Machida moving away. Machida steps in but Mousasi counters with a good right hand. Machida lands a body kick. Both men almost throw and it’s almost exciting but then they don’t. Mousasi is now pressuring some but still no offense either way. Machida lands a body kick, Mousasi’s counter right hand misses. Machida misses a head kick. Machida lands a left hand and then a body kick that he thinks hurt Mousasi because he charges forward. Mousasi responds by charging in but can’t land anything and the bell ends the round.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Machida (19-19 overall).

Round 3: There are no wrong scorecards at this point. This fight could be 20-18 either way or even a 20-20 draw and and it would be reasonable and both fighters seem to recognize that as they are acting with more urgency. Machida glances a head kick and Mousasi is pressuring more aggressively. Machida steps in and lands a body kick but Mousasi lands a counter right hand. Machida is kicking much more frequently this round. Mousasi lands a good leg kick. Machida misses a left hand and Mousasi misses his counter. Mousasi has been landing a light oblique kick but Machida lands a left to the body and then a left hand. Mousasi responds with a right hand that lands. Mousasi lands another stepping left and avoids the counters. Machida slips and Mousasi looks to pounce but can’t land anything. Machida goes for a headkick but slips and now Mousasi does capitalize by taking the top position. Mousasi isn’t landing anything substantive but he’s trying to stay busy and may well steal this fight on the back of that slip by Machida. Machida goes for a guillotine choke from full guard but it seems like Mousasi is fine. The bell sounds and ends the round. Tough fight to score.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Machida, 29-28 Machida overall.

Official result: Gegard Mousasi def. Lyoto Machida by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27).