The two fighters came in undefeated. With the fight, Lyoto Machida earned the title shot against fellow undefeated champion Rashad Evans for the light-heavyweight championship, the first time two undefeated fighters faced off for a belt.
The first round began. Machida threw a high kick which missed. Silva tried to lunge, missing and slipping. Machida landed a foot sweep. Machida landed a body kick. They clinched and exchanged knees in the clinch. Yves broke the clinch with an inadvertant groin strike with the knee by Machida. Mike Goldberg's comment was 'ouch'. Silva took a break until he was ready. The fight restarted again. Silva threw a kick. Machida got the takedown with a foot sweep, but stood when Silva went for a leglock. Machida landed a body knee and then a strike to the face and Silva went down and Machida pounced. Machida stood and landed kicks from the top. Silva landed some upkicks to Machida's legs. Two minutes remained. Machida leaped back on top and Silva pulled guard. Silva landed an elbow from the bottom. Machida stood once more and let Silva up. The crowd cheered. Machida landed a body kick. Machida landed a big strike and Silva went down again. Machida moved quickly to side control, landing some elbows. Machida moved to mount but Silva evaded and Machida stood once more. Machida leaped back down and took Silva's back. Silva grabbed the fence and was warned. They turned and clinched against the cage. Ten seconds remained. Silva landed an elbow in the clinch. Machida shoved Silva down with a few seconds remaining in the first round and landed two strikes from the top. The referee saw that Thiago was knocked out and stopped the fight.