MANILA, Philippines – Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida scored a unanimous decision over Gegard Mousasi for his second straight victory as a middleweight in UFC Fight Night 36.
Judges saw it 49-46, 50-45, and 5-45 for Machida, who made a strong case for a shot at the middleweight title.
The Dragon was sharp during the opening round, tagging Mousasi with well-time kicks. Mousasi came back strong in the second round, but failed to sustain his pace in the next four frames.
In the fifth, Machida got close to submitting the Armenian, who managed to survive and reach the final bell.
“He's a great fight. I'd like the crowd to give him a round of applause ‘cause he's a real champ,” said Machida during the post-fight interview. “I want to finish him in a different way but I couldn't, but I was able to get the points.”
As to the possible shot at the middleweight crown, he said it is up to the UFC to decide on his next opponent.
“I obviously would like to get the chance but it's up to the UFC, the president of the UFC (Dana White) has to decide who I'm gonna get,” said Machida.
Chris Weidman, the current UFC middleweight champion, will defend his title against Vitor Belfort on May 24.