Boxing is widely believed to be the best striking discipline to adapt to MMA, but that may be over if fighters don't fix their faults.
Boxing gloves are big enough that one can avoid early KO's, and throw more combinations without worrying as much about clean counters. Nothing is wrong with that, but in MMA, fighters use smaller gloves. Karate fighters are used to using bare hands, so they know the importance of a single shot. In boxing, a single shot may not be as important, so boxers can trade punches, and take risks with an opponent's strikes.
Karate's idea is not just to take away an opponent's attack, but at the same time, to land strikes without risk. I don't think the majority of karate practitioners can adapt this skill to MMA, but there is definitely other karate challengers that will be coming.
I never really thought karate's ideas could have that much effect until recently, but there are many merits to using karate in MMA.
Better visual recognition: a good karate fighter knows how an opponent will move by how he starts a movement, or finishes a movement. For example, at 1:00 of the first round, Lyoto attacked Rashad when he ended his feint.
Distance coordination: Kicks can make for other striking distances than boxing. This works well with visual recognition.
Fist usage: Karatekas use bare fists, so they have more knowledge of what parts of the first are most effective for striking.
There are conditions for a karate fighter to be successful at MMA. The most important one is not losing in the clinch, also, good balance and grappling.
If fighters don't realize what these real merits of karate are, Lyoto's era will be long.
Big thanks to Jordan Breen for English support.