Chris Weidman (red gloves ) lands a kick to Lyoto Machida (blue gloves) during a middleweight title fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Middleweight champion Chris Weidman had to survive five heated rounds to win against former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision in UFC 175 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Sunday (Manila time).
Weidman looked to press the action right from the start as he missed three kicks in the first round.
The unbeaten fighter caught a kick by Machida in the second-minute mark, but the former UFC champion managed to fight it off.
In the second round, it was Machida who went to attack early, missing a solid strike on the champ, who in turn, also threw a variety of attacks of his own.
However, with a minute left in the round, Weidman caught Machida on a takedown, pinned him to the fence and went all-out offensively.
After getting beaten on the ground in the second round, Machida attacked with a sense of urgency as the third started.
The two warriors traded punches until Weidman managed to get the fight into the ground once more. Machida tried to get up and keep the fight standing, but Weidman slammed him back down emphatically.
A bloodied Machida rose at the end of the round.
However, it was a different story in the fourth round as Machida showed signs of life, keeping the fight off the ground, landing punches and kicks on Weidman.
The reigning middleweight champion, meanwhile, showed signs of fatigue as his punches failed to rock Machida.
Weidman tried hard to take Machida down, but the latter managed to toss it off and finish the round with a flush left hook to the chin of the champ.
In the fifth round, Machida maintained his airtight takedown defense as Weidman looked to press the action once more, with his left eye rapidly closing.
But with under two minutes left, Weidman got the fight back to the mat and take Machida's back.
Machida, however, proved to be a tough warrior, fighting his way back to his feet to fire a barrage of punches in the closing rounds of the match to the thrill of the crowd.
Weidman scored 49-45, 48-47, 49-46 in his second title defense after a shocking win over Anderson Silva last year.
The win moved Weidman to 12-0, while Machida fell to 21-5.