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The Dragon and the Underdog Champion

Possibly the best match the UFC has had for a championship belt, both men are undefeated, both at the top of their game, this is a dream of an mma bout for any fan new or old alike.

Yes folks I am talking about Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and “Sugar” Rashad Evans, this fight is what championships are all about. Not very often if ever do you get to see two fighters both unbeaten compete for a belt, it is a rarity especially in an organization such as the UFC known for having the highest level of competition.

Evans is a fighter who has evolved so greatly, he started off as a simple good wrestler, and now has become something quite scary. The champ has shown he can knock people out like its second nature, due to the dynamite that seems to be planted in his hands and feet. He has a good ability to keep the fight where he wants it due to his great wrestling, and has not shown any weakness in his always evolving game. In his last 3 fights he has compiled victories over Forest Griffin at UFC 92, Michael Bisping at UFC 78, and his most devastating over Chuck Liddell at UFC 88.

Machida as well is another puzzle all in his own, making many of the guys who have fought him look very amateur as if it were their first fight. The Dragon is a great mma fighter, having started training in Shotokan Karate since the age of 3, he was awarded a black belt at age 12, since then he has trained in many other martial arts ranging from Sumo to Jiu-Jitsu. In his time of mma competition Machida has compiled wins over some great opponents such as Rich Franklin while in Japan at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003, BJ Penn in K-1 Hero’s 1 in 2005. He recently recorded victories over Tito Ortiz at UFC 84, and Thiago Silva at UFC 94.

This is going to be a war, Machida showed when he fought Silva that he could handle business quick, he finished the fight with a brutal knockout in the first round with literally one second remaining. Evans I don’t need to go into about power, but you saw the train wreck that was remaining after one solid punch landed on Liddell, and the flailing man that was Griffin getting completely handled.

So both have shown they can finish a fight fast, but they have also shown us boring fights as well that were heavily criticized upon. Lets not forget the Bisping fight with Evans, or the Ortiz fight with Machida (I didn’t hate it myself, he made Ortiz look very new to the sport except for the triangle attempt at the end of the match).

I am also very curious to see the gameplan Greg Jackson developed for Evans, he has been doing nothing but amazing things with the fighters who represent his camp. Machida is probably going to be the toughest opponent Jackson has had to strategize for, and Evans has ever faced.

The same can be said for Machida, sure he has faced wrestlers but never any that can punch or kick the way Evans can. So I have to say this fight is truly a toss up in my eyes, it all depends on who implements their tactics better, and who is the better fighter that night.

One way or another we are in for a battle that can be as monotaneous as an infomercial, or the most action packed battle since a Tony Jaa flick, but either way I will be watching with both eyes glued heavily on my tv screen.

  • Stan says:

    “the flailing man that was Griffin getting completely handled.”

    Griffin got completely handled? He won the first two rounds easily and was on his way to winning the third when Evans caught the leg kick. Evans deserves credit for finding a way to pull out a fight where HE was being handled, and he finished admirably when the opportunity presented itself. But then, Machida doesn’t seem like the kind of reckless striker that Liddell and Griffin were for Evans.

  • neijia says:

    Have to agree with Stan. We must not have watched the same fight. I thought Griffin was winning, and let’s be very clear: Griffin and Bisping (who imho lost to Hamill) and a past-his-prime Liddell are not nearly as good as Machida is right now. Given what Machida did last time and the talk from him about entertaining fans, I think this one is gonna be far from boring. Gonna be close but edge is with Lyoto. The dude has submitted Rafael Lovato, Jr. in submission grappling, has been a sumo champ, and a karate champ. Any one of those is more impressive in my book than winning a season of TUF or beating Liddell. Put them all together and you have the most complete fighter at 205. Machida is p4p in the same league as Anderson Silva, GSP, and Fedor imo.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I’m still of the belief that all it takes is for a good game plan and Machida will fall the same as any fighter. Give Evans a little credit his resume is just about as good as Machida’s, remember that Machida hasn’t faced Liddell or Griffin or Bisping for that matter but Evans has, he also faced Ortiz and did very well and is twice the fighter he was then. I think Evans will win. I’m not sure how but he might just pull this one out.

    P.S. How will Machida do if HE is the frustrated one?.

  • hexrei says:

    That’s not how you spell monotonous. Nice article, but use the spellchecker next time.

  • Orwell says:

    Whoever wins is going to have a hell of a time defending it. 205 is crazy for the UFC. I like Machida but the prospect of Rampage vs Rashad for the belt is a great follow up. Its tough to tip and there’s always going to be great match-ups anyways.

    So my pick is for Jon Jones to win the belt, mid 2010 and dominate all and sundry for a few years.

  • JollyDV says:

    Hex Rex, while be joining me in the chat room for the fight tomorrow night? This card has me very excited. Hope you stop by,,,,please stop by, and bring your wife. :)

    Also, do you know what is going on in this site? Sam hasn’t written anything in a while. and there are multiple new bloggers here. Also, wonder where Adam Morgan, and Matt Cava have gone to? Maybe it was just me noticing this, but give me all your inside info, so I know what’s going on.

  • JJ Docker says:

    I’m not sure about the others but I’m pretty sure Sam has relinquished a considerable amount of his journalistic input into the site to focus on his WAMMA thing. Which sucks, because the site isn’t the same without him. In fact it’s now pretty shitty and, to be frank, I think I could write a better article than some of the contributors to this site – I’m thinking about going back over to Elbow.

  • neijia says:

    I agree Evans could win because even Machida could get caught by a strike or a submission (Tito almost caught him after all). What would Machida do if frustrated? Same thing as usual. He shows a lot of patience and picks his spots with precision. I think Evans could get lucky but he isn’t going to be able to pick Machida apart in a technical fight. The more Evans tries to just “go for it”, though, the more that favors Machida. So edge is to Machida either way. If they both start watching for one small mistake, Evans could do it, but that defensive style would still favor Machida. I think the odds of -200 Machida are about right.

    Jon Jones is really gonna mop up 205, yeah. There is a good reason he was signed as the youngest recruit ever. Dana and co did a great job scouting. Those high amp throws on Bonnar were awesome, though a little tiring looking. A little more experience and he’ll also be dominating. No doubt he’s a future 205 champ.

    I admire Machida the most, Jon next, but Rampage is still my favorite. Dude is just so funny.


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