Machida KOs Munoz in middleweight debut
MANILA, Philippines – Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida put the middleweight division on notice after knocking out his friend and training partner, Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz,, in the main event of UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester.
In his first fight at 185-pounds, Machida knocked out Muñoz at the 3:10 mark of the first round after connecting with a left kick to the head that dropped Muñoz to the canvas.
“It’s very hard for me, because Mark is a good friend to me,” Machida said after the fight. “But as a professional, I can’t think about that. I have to do my job.”
The first two minutes of the bout was uneventful, but Machida sent a warning of things to come as he connected on two kicks to the body of Muñoz, before eventually landing the finishing blow.
Muñoz was knocked out cold by the perfectly placed strike, and Machida did not deliver a follow-up blow, instead waiting for referee Leon Roberts to stop the bout, according to MMA Mania.
Machida received a $50,000 bonus after earning “Knockout of the Night” honors.
The Brazilian Machida improved his record to 20-4. He later admitted that the weight cut was “very hard” for him after having spent most of his career at light-heavyweight (205 pounds), but stressed that he intends to stay at the weight division.
“(I was on a) very strict diet for one month,” he said. “But I got it. I will stay at 185, I like to fight here.”
Muñoz’s record dropped to 13-4. He has now lost two of his last three fights.