The unbeaten Machida, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Shotokan karate, entered the fight 14-0 but was derided for a cautious, defensive style.
And the first round was fought very tentatively. But Machida, who was the aggressor in the fight, landed a big left hand that hurt Evans and backed him into the cage.
Machida then fired a flurry of punches, with a big left dumping Evans on the seat of his pants. Referee Mario Yamasaki jumped in to save Evans, who clearly was in trouble.
“I want to keep this belt for a long time,” Machida said.
Machida, who shouted “karate is back” after the win, fired a series of hard punches, several of which landed, including a crunching right and a big left.
Evans never was able to connect. He spent the first round circling and looking for an opening that Machida never gave him. In the second, he landed a kick and a couple of punches but essentially had no offense.
“I’m dizzy,” Evans said. “Lyoto came out and was difficult to solve.”
In the co-main event, the grudge match between Matt Hughes and Matt Serra turned out to be a dud, with little action. Serra knocked Hughes down in the first round and Hughes seemed to be in trouble, but Serra was unable to finish.
In the final two rounds, Hughes used his superior strength to take Serra down and hold him on the mat. Hughes did little damage and frequently wasn’t trying to advance his position, but he kept Serra down for long stretches and that was enough to get him the victory.
All three judges had it 29-28 for Hughes, who admitted the prefight trash talk got him fired up.
“It was very much a motivating factor,” Hughes said. “What he said about me [bothered me], just as I’m sure what I said about him [bothered him].”
Hughes asked his corner what had happened when he walked back after the first round. He wasn’t aware he’d been knocked down.
“I didn’t know exactly what hit me,” he said. “A head butt or what punch it was.”
Serra was disappointed and seemed to think he’d won. When ring announcer Bruce Buffer called Hughes’ name, Serra stared at the floor and shook his head.
“I really wanted this win,” Serra said. “I trained really hard for it. I’m a little upset now.”
The two embraced briefly at the end of the fight and then again a few seconds later. Each seemed to indicate the bad blood between them was over.
Hughes, whose contract expired after Saturday’s bout, said he wanted to fight again and planned to talk to UFC president Dana White about making a bout somewhere in the Midwest near his home.
Article provided by: sports.yahoo.com