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.