LYOTO Machida has fought the best that two weight divisions in the UFC has to offer.

Chris Weidman, Gerard Mousasi and Dan Henderson at middleweight. Jon Jones, Randy Couture, Quentin Jackson, Rashad Evans at light heavyweight.

But last Sunday at UFC Fight Night, he fell prey to an opponent with only 11 MMA bouts, and this may herald an inglorious fall of one of most talented fighters we have seen to ever step foot inside the octagon.

THE FIGHT. Both men traded a lot of strikes and kicks in the first stanza. It wasn’t exactly a feeling out round, but the action was sporadic and no serious damage was incurred by either fighter.

In terms of distance, they were clearly sizing each other up in the hopes of gauging the proper space within which to unload their deadly artillery.

In the stand-up game, timing and spacing are crucial and it was just a matter of time before one would get comfortable and start to dominate the other.

As it turned out, it was Yoel Romero and in the second, he started walking down Machida. The latter did land a few good lefts to keep things honest, that did not deter Romero’s aggression.

With about a minute left, Yoel landed a straight that snapped Machida’s head back.

Just as the round was about to end, he even attempted an audacious move by attempting to use the cage as a springboard to land a punch.

In the third, Yoel began to successfully time his forays and deftly parried Machida’s own strikes. Then at around the 3-minute mark, he made his move.

Machida was moving backward after an exchange, when quick as a cat, Romero grabbed his unsuspecting opponent and tripped his left leg, resulting in a takedown

He then wasted no time raining down short, brutal elbow strikes that knocked out Machida.

PROGNOSIS. Coming into this fight, both men wanted to make a case for themselves to earn that coveted title shot.

Former world champion Machida was coming off a devastating loss to Luke Rockhold in 2 rounds, and there were some concerns on how much he had been affected physically and mentally by that defeat.

Now with three losses in his last 4 fights, the window of opportunity maybe closing fast for the 37-year old “Dragon.”

Though a year older than Machida at 38, Romero is now positioned to make that one final push to superstardom. And rightfully so, as he has earned that shot at reigning champ Chris Weidman with this impressive victory.

Romero is currently riding high on the crest of a 6-fight win streak dating back to 2013 and he may be the division’s best kept secret.

“Son of God” is actually a late comer to the MMA scene, having started his career only in 2009 and to date he only has one blemish in his record (a stoppage loss in round 2 to Rafael Cavalcante back in 2011). Of his 10 victories, 9 have come via the abbreviated route.

Style-wise he would give Weidman fits with his speed and power and would be able to match up well given his Olympic pedigree in wrestling.

VERBATIM. “What does a prize-fighter fight for? You fight for a prize. The reason why they’re taking note and the pay-per-view numbers are going up at the same time is because people want to see him lose

-Rapper 50 cent on Floyd Mayweather Jr. (www.hustleboss.com)

LAST ROUNDS. Are on my partners at the Zosa and Quijano Law Offices, Atty. Melanie Zosa-Tan and Atty M.E. Zosa, who are celebrating their birthdays a week apart. Cheers! (jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)