The Shogun era begins

Neil Springer, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

MONTREAL— The Machida era is over.

In the main event of UFC 113 on Saturday, Mauricio (Shogun) Rua scored a huge knockout win over Lyoto (The Dragon) Machida to capture the UFC light-heavyweight championship.

“I'm very happy because in 2005 I was able to achieve a dream, to win the PRIDE grand prix,” Rua (19-4) said through his translator at the post-fight press conference. “Now I've achieved another dream, which was to become the UFC world champion. I feel very fortunate to have fulfilled so many dreams in my career and I have more dreams still.”

Rua came out aggressive against Machida (16-1), picking up where he left off in attacking the legs. Machida, however, switched gears a bit, taking Rua to the mat twice. Rua was able to get back to his feet quickly both times. Soon after he dropped Machida with a big overhand right. Rua immediately took full-mount and unloaded with punches until Machida was out.

“After the first fight, I trained and studied Lyoto Machida's game,” Rua said. “I tried to fight according to his style. This time I knew him better, so I tried to exploit him, take chances and finish the fight.

“When I connected with the overhand right, I already noticed that he was going out. Then I took the opportunity to keep punching him on the ground until the referee would stop it. Actually, I stopped punching even a little bit before the referee called the fight. When we see the opportunity in the fight, we go in for the kill because sometimes you will only have one opportunity.”

Rua lost a controversial decision to Machida at UFC 104 in October. Many felt he deserved the win and the title, but all three judges scored the bout 48-47 for Machida. As a result, an immediate rematch was signed.

UFC president Dana White said Rua showed everyone he's the better fighter.

“Shogun Rua proved tonight that the first time maybe (the judges weren't right) with their scoring,” UFC president Dana White said. “To go out and knock out Lyoto Machida in the first round the way that he did – I mean, to say it's impressive is stupid. It's unbelievable. It's incredible.”

When Rua first arrived in the UFC, he was a shadow of the fighter who tore through the PRIDE 2005 grand prix. After being submitted by Forrest Griffin in a bout where he looked completely out of shape, Rua required back-to-back knee surgeries.

He said this was the worst period in his life, but is happy to be back at 100 per cent.

“As athletes, we always have problems and troubles in our lives we have to overcome,” Rua said. “Injuries are the worst thing that can happen to a fighter's career. So the worst times in my life were when I had the two knee surgeries. That was very tough and people were criticizing me.

“But I took that as motivation because I work so hard. When I go through that kind of criticism I think someone has to pay the bill. Someone has to pay for what I've gone through. So I try to do that in my fights.”

In his two UFC appearances in Montreal, Rua has knocked out both Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell and now Machida. He said he always enjoys fighting in Canada.

“Canada is a country that I love,” Rua said. “It's a great country because the fans here are great – the most avid MMA fans. So every time that I fight here, I feel supported; I feel at home and am able to perform at my best.”

Rua said he'll take two weeks off to relax before returning to the gym, at which point he will face whoever the UFC puts in front of him.

“I'll fight anyone,” Rua said. “I'm a professional fighter, so I don't care. Whoever Dana White wants me to fight, I will fight. It doesn't matter. The only guy that I wouldn't fight is Wanderlei Silva because he's a great friend of mine. Other than that, whoever they want me to fight I will fight.”

It is speculated that the winner of the bout between Rashad (Sugar) Evans and Quinton (Rampage) Jackson will get the next title shot. However, White said nothing has been decided yet.

DALEY FIRED

Following his unanimous decision loss to Josh (Kos) Koscheck in the co-main event, Paul (Semtex) Daley let his true colours show.

As Koscheck (15-4) walked away from his opponent, Daley (23-9-2) came up behind him and delivered a cheap shot.

White said Daley has burned his bridge with the UFC.

“He's gone,” White said. “I don't give a s--- if he's (one of) the best 170 pounders in the world. He will never come back here again. I'm probably the most lenient guy in sports and this is probably one of the most lenient organizations.

“I don't care if he goes and fights in every show around the world and becomes the best, and everyone thinks he's the pound-for-pound best, he will never fight in the UFC ever again.”

White could be seen entering the cage immediately following the punch to speak with Daley.

“When I went in there and talked to him after the fight, he said, 'I didn't hear the bell,'” White said. “I can tell you that he punched him long after the bell.”

Though there had been a lot of trash talk leading up to the bout, Koscheck admitted he said something offensive to Daley during the final seconds of the bout that may have brought on the punch.

“It was probably his best punch of the fight,” Koscheck said. “At the last minute, I whispered something in his ear and, well, you're going to have to ask him what I said. But it wasn't very polite.”

Daley's punch after the bell wasn't the fight's only controversy. During the first round, Daley threw an illegal knee to his opponent's head. Koscheck immediately winced in pain and grabbed his eye. After taking a few moments to recover, he continued the match. However, the replay showed the strike glancing by Kocheck's head.

Koscheck maintains he was caught by the strike.

“I kind of got kneed in the eye,” Koscheck said. “I didn't know if it was a knee or a punch. I was on my knees and just got hit. I just tried to get a couple seconds and get my bearings.”

With his win over Daley, Koscheck has earned himself a coaching spot on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite UFC welterweight champion Georges (Rush) St. Pierre. Once their time on the show is finished, the two will fight for the strap.

KIMBO CUT

Following his second-round TKO loss to Matt Mitrione, it looks like Kevin (Kimbo Slice) Ferguson has been cut from the UFC roster.

“He's done; we're going to cut him,” White said. “Listen, Kimbo made it a lot further than I thought he would. When I first met him I thought, 'This is going to be interesting with all the s--- I've talked about him over the last couple years.' He came in and he couldn't be a nicer guy. He took this serious, trained, went after it. His first fight wasn't the YouTube fight you saw, but he won that fight. He deserved another fight in the UFC and he lost.

“I've got nothing but respect for Kimbo and I like him as a person. I think he's carried himself really well.”

Mitrione, who wasn't present when White confirmed Ferguson's release, said he proved he can do more than just trade punches.

“I'm only 2-0 as a pro,” Mitrione said. “I've got a lot of growing to do, but I think I showed I have a little bit of a ground game and a little bit of flexibility to me.

“It was a lot of fun. I love this job. This is the best job in the world. I had a blast.”

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES

For his sensational stoppage of Machida, Rua earned “knockout of the night” honours. While, Alan (The Talent) Belcher snagged “submission of the night” for his rear-naked choke on Quebec's Patrick (The Predator) Cote.

Ontarian Sam (Hands of Stone) Stout and Jeremy (L'il Heathen) Stephens were awarded “fight of the night.” Unfortunately for Stout (15-6-1), he was on the losing end of a split-decision.

Each fighter received an additional $65,000 for their efforts.

MACDONALD INJURED

Jason (The Athlete) MacDonald's UFC return couldn't have gone worse.

While attempting to defend a takedown from John Salter in the opening bout, MacDonald (24-14) came down on top of his leg, causing it to break.

“He broke his leg in two places,” White said. “As soon as he went down...it reminded me of (Duane) Bang Ludwig. His leg didn't fold as bad as Bang's folded, but same thing.”

FULL RESULTS:

Mauricio Rua def. Lyoto Machida by first-round knockout

Josh Koscheck def. Paul Daley by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Jeremy Stephens def. Sam Stout by split-decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)

Matt Mitrione def. Kevin Ferguson by second-round TKO

Alan Belcher def. Patrick Cote by second-round submission (rear-naked choke)

Joe Doerksen def. Tom Lawlor by second-round submission (rear-naked choke)

Marcus Davis def. Jonathan Goulet by second-round TKO

Johny Hendricks def. T.J. Grant by majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)

Joey Beltran def. Tim Hague by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)

Mike Guymon def. Yoshiyuki Yoshida by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

John Salter def. Jason MacDonald by first-round TKO (injury)


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