Machida’s style stymied Ortiz most of the way. Ortiz wasn’t able to take him down, and standing, Machida used his point karate style to avoid almost all of the former UFC light heavyweight champion’s offense. The crowd booed the fight at various points because of Machida’s backpedaling. But the undefeated Machida worked on Ortiz’s left leg with kicks and connected with punches and head kicks as counters while Ortiz tried unsuccessfully to chase him down. The key blow was in the third round with a hard knee to the ribs that put Ortiz down, but Ortiz recovered quickly. Ortiz was also in trouble at the end of the first round when Machida surprised him with a takedown and threw rapid punches just as time in the round expired. Ortiz, who was in the last fight of his UFC contract, left the door open for a possible return to the company while praising the fans and UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta in his post-fight interview. But he talked more openly about going to what he termed “greener pastures.”
As the master of showmanship and controversy, Tito loses, but remains star of the show.
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