Shogun was robbed
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua fought a very tactical fight against a difficult opponent in UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida and Rua fought it to perfection. He landed a flurry of devastating leg kicks and while the fight was extremely close, it's hard to see Machida as the winner in this bout. You could argue that Shogun won 49-46, but even most rational fans had to assume Shogun was going to be announced as the winner when it was declared a unanimous decision.
Rua completely took Machida out of his gameplan and looked much more like the Shogun of old. The Shogun of old, however, would've finished the fight. The Shogun we saw at UFC 104, however, certainly did enough to win. He was never in too much danger and really controlled the tempo of the fight. He threw some ferocious kicks to the legs and body of Machida and handled the "elusive" fighter very well. He should've won that fight. I thought Machida looked as surprised as the fans at the Staples Center were when he was announced as the winner.
Some will argue that the challenger has to take the belt from the champion and that any close fight will go to the current champ. That wasn't the case with Forrest Griffin and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Even so, I felt (as many other writers, fans in attendance and both Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg) that Rua did more than enough to get the decision.
Outside of Rua getting robbed, it was a pretty enjoyable show. I thought the prelim fights on Spike were terrific. I was surprised that Chael Sonnen handled Yushin Okami the way he did but I thought it was a good fight. Joe Stevenson looked terrific and Cain Velasquez dominated Ben Rothwell. I still don't think Velasquez is ready for Brock Lesnar, though. I'd like to see Velasquez face someone like Nogeuira or even Frank Mir before getting a shot at Lesnar. Anthony Johnson had a sick knockout as well, but his came against a fighter with no chin.
Overall, a pretty enjoyable night of fights, outside of a highly controversial decision. Even though he lost, Rua proved he's a fighter to be reckoned with again at light heavyweight. And, more importantly, it showed that Machida is human. He was thought to be one of the most unbeatable fighters in the UFC but that was simply not the case Saturday night. He still doesn't belong in the St. Pierre/Anderson Silva class, not yet.
Although I would've loved to see Rua win, just on the chance that Dana White would make that Shogun vs. Anderson Silva fight. That would be a great one to watch.