The UFC 104 main event fight between Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was perhaps one of the most controversial MMA decisions in 2009. Although Machida earned the razor-thin decision to his favor, many fight fans continue to believe that Rua was indeed the true winner that night.
Cecil Peoples was one of three judges that scored the UFC 104 main event and this is what he had to say about the fight:
“The fans and all the naysayers, I don’t worry about. I don’t back down because it’s not popular. My thing is, Rua did hit him more. But Machida hit him harder, especially in the early rounds. I’m really perplexed about how you give (Rua) [Round 1], because Shogun was kicking (Machida) a lot in the legs, but every time he kicked him in the legs, he got hit in the face. Shogun would put his hand up, and Machida would go right through, sweat’s flying off (Rua’s) face. Shogun kicked (Machida) in the belly –- that’s how he got the red mark. But you gotta remember, Machida is stepping back, so when he gets kicked, he’s getting brushed. But he counters Shogun with a hard kick to the belly. Which one counts more for the exchange? I give it to the (second one), because it was harder. It wasn’t brushed. Machida was controlling that round because he was dominant in not getting beat up in that round. He was the general in that first round. I give the fight to Machida in a very, very close fight. Now you’re pissed off because it’s my fault that you lost your money. No, it’s not. It’s Machida’s fault. If you don’t like it, you can go to hell.”