And the reason has to do with the match-up itself (Uninspired and uninspiring.) Ben Fowlkes of Sport Illustrated makes a compelling case for why the rationale behind the Machida/Shogun match is “a bitty fuzzy.” A casual check of Google will reveal an amazing paucity of links with stories about this match-up. This paucity of stories very much corresponds to the lack of searches about Machida or Rua as reflected in the hit statistics of this blog. (FYI: When Frank Mir fought Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, the statistics for the corresponding stories in this blog were off the charts and interest in Mir or Lesnar did not flag until about 4 weeks later.)
Some of us will still watch it more for what it will reveal of Machida than Rua. Machida will probably win this one, which will prove little beyond perhaps showcasing what else he has in the bag. But on the other hand, he may slip up and get rocked by Rua – which is why these fights always have something beyond the predictable. Now THAT would be news – and so much for Joe Rogan’s “Machida Era.” So to make things a bit interesting here, we are gonna root for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and hope that he presses Machida and wins by a lucky TKO by round three. We hope he will the little lucky break that Mir had with Lesnar in UFC 98. A long shot, but things have been known to happen.
The current odds are heavily in favor of Machida winning this at -$500 for Machida vs +$350 for Rua. This means you have to put down $500 to win $100 if you are betting for a Machida win. If you are betting for a Rua win you only have to put down $100 for a chance to win $350 if he wins.
The UFC has a vested interest in a Machida win because if he loses the lack of bankable stars in the light heavyweight division will continue to reign supreme and that can’t be good for business. And Joe Rogan after proclaiming the beginning of “Era de Machida” will secretly be pulling for him. A Machida loss would be a lose-lose proposition for Dana White who had a big hand, if not only hand in engineering the Machida-Rua match-up while elbowing Quinton towards the Jackson- Evans match-up. If Machida loses, it means that the UFC lost at least one chance to make major coin on what would have been a Machida-Jackson MMA and PPV lollapalooza. And the fact of the matter is that Dana can’t afford to make half-assed decisions that fail to connect with the fans. Machida is 30 …. Not exactly on the ascent side of the mountain (age-wise.)
The rest of our thoughts on the lack of interest in this fight are contained in parts of the following posts: