Job one for the UFC is to make sure the judges who scored UFC 104 are not anywhere in the neighborhood when UFC 113 between Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua kicks of in Montreal on May 8, 2010. The closest these old farts should be allowed to get to the fight should be some rundown Hooters joint showing the fight on a grimy flat-screen. Thanks to them, the travesty seen around the world has given birth to a sham of a rematch in which the putative belt-holder, Lyoto Machida, should really be fighting to get his belt back from the rightful holder – Mauricio Shogun Rua. Let the record show that. Shogun Rua, who at the time, was the Light Heavyweight challenger, clearly won UFC 104. No ifs, ends or buts about it.
“Lyoto made Shogun come after him. He determined where the fight took place, which, in my opinion, constitutes as effective Octagon control.” (Judge Cecil Peoples, CageReport.Net)
Say what!? This loony-tunes thinking should go into the record books as a prime example of how not to judge a match and better still, how not to talk about it afterwards. Read the whole spiel here to get a sense of Judge Cecil Peoples’ words out in context. His disingenuous “I’m just glad the other judges on the panel saw it the same way” should be part of the evidence as to why he and his sidekicks shouldn’t be allowed near a UFC fight anytime too soon – at least not as a danse de trois. But we digress.
Machida vs Shogun: Anything can happen, but the edge goes to Shogun
Crunch-time For Machida (He has more to prove and at stake than Shogun Rua): Machida vs Rashad Evans was rightfully the birth of the Machida legend. He clearly pulled of a unique feat using tools in the MMA arsenal that had not been used in living memory. Then came a rock ‘n roller named Mauricio Shogun Rua who quickly defanged Machida and showed up the holes in his game. It appeared the Machida legend was D.O.A. ( dead on arrival) and it may very well be was it not for the judges’ messing up of the public narrative. On paper, Machida is the still champion – but the fans know better – just like Americans are wiser for the grassy knoll. But we digress.
The bottom-line is that UFC 113 is crunch time for Machida and his new-fangled Machida franchise. He and he alone is the one with something to prove to the world. Because of what is at stake, Machida will be going all out to win by knock-out, but his ingrained instincts are gonna fight him. And an octagonal battle royal is unfortunately Shogun Rua’s old stomping ground. The Brazilian rock ‘n roller earned his colors in Pride knocking off heads of guys who were tough – if not tougher than Machida. He will welcome not having to chase Machida doing his old Ginger Rogers routine.
Be that as it may, anything can happen in this fight because the entire Machida clan is determined to win this one for posterity – and realistic odds should reflect that. Losing is as much an option for the Machida clan as it was for the Gracie family and you can see how tough adjusting to new realities was for that first family of MMA grappling.
Stratagems Coming Into UFC 113: Expect Machida to keep Shogun off balance by feints that will be alternated with stinging attacks calculated to stun, knock out or establish an effective perimeter for Machida’s método de guerra. Shogun should watch out for tenderizing kicks from the outside and flying knees from the inside. Machida does not have knock out power, so he is gonna rely on kicks, flying knees and cumulative punches to do the job. Tactically, Machida really needs that perimeter – an electrified fence from behind which he can launch his trademark sneak attacks. The said perimeter needs to be a real because nothing less can stop Shogun from advancing on Machida’s ass. No secret there.
The flip-the-coin aspect of this fight comes in the form of what can happen when two fighters of this caliber advance on each other and virtually collide. Because of the accuracy of their strikes, anything can happen. However we at Cyberaxis think that Shogun is marginally favored to win because:
1. By attacking, Machida will be playing to Shogun’s strength namely mixed martial arts from the stand and deliver school of pugilism. Rua’s instincts are gonna serve him well in this fight – as long as he doesn’t get careless.
2. Accurate striking, as the tenderized ribs and bloodied face of Machida proved in the last fight, will make Machida more hesitant about charging Shogun. Remember Machida doesn’t really like to be hit and his back-pedalling instincts can easily reassert themselves in the heat of battle.
3. Shogun Rua proved in the last fight that he either has a strong chin or Machida’s strikes aren’t up to snuff when it comes to stunning or knocking him out.
The Machida team will try to neutralize Shogun’s kicks; the same kicks that hobbled Machida in the last fight. They are gonna try and neutralize that weapon, but its not gonna be easy. Punch counters are gonna be costly as Machida would be trading fists for kicks and take downs may not be that appealing from a tactical standpoint. Whatever they come up with, the bottomline is that Machida’s team can’t afford to have that kick working as well as it did in UFC 113.
The real fight of the night is Paul Daley vs Jeff Koscheck. Something fresh. Something new. The stylistic differences between the two fighters are intriguing and the pre-fight rah-rah is as intriguing as anything we have heard in UFC. The low-grade disses have that ring that made bare-knuckle school yard fights such a thrill to watch. Paul Daley may be a one trick pony, but he talks up a good storm. He gets under a Koscheck’s skin because he sounds like he believes every word he says and anybody who doesn’t is a bit nuts.
Machida vs Rua – Comparative Tale O’ Tape:
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua:
Age: Born Nov. 25, 1981 (Age 27)
Record: 19-4-0 (16 KOs, 1 submission, 3 decisions)
Height: 6ft 1 in
Reach: 76.0 in
Style, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Years: 2002 – Present
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida:
Age: 31 Born May 30, 1978 (Age 31)
Record: 16-1 (5 KO, 2 submissions, 9 decision)
Height 6ft 1 in
Reach: 74 in
Style: Machida Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sumo,
Stance: South Paw
Years 2003 – Present
As was to be expected, Shogun knocked out Machida in spectacular fashion in the first round after a blow to Machida’s temple brought Machida down for a ground and pound coup de grace which saw Machida out cold by the 5th blow. By the time the announcement of Rua’s win was made, Machida’s left eye was black and blue and almost swollen shut. Order has been restored to the Light Heavyweight Division. A wrong has been righted and the judges of UFC can now be encouraged to take early retirement.
We were off on Paul Daley vs Jeff Koscheck, but not by much. We missed the end result, a win by Koscheck over Paul Daley by a lackluster ground game that had fans booing. But that result would have been totally different had Jeff Koscheck decided to standup and bang with Paul Daley like he said he might. He did not. From the opening round he cowered behind a crappy ground game that did not result in much pounding or submission holds. And with 36 seconds left in the first round, Koscheck faked being hit by a knee in the face and really lived up to the “mamma’s boy” aspersion that Daley was bandying about. The referee got to the bottom of the fake and the fight was resumed with Kosckeck immediately resorting to the tried and true – the wrestling. He managed to wangle 3 wins over 3 rounds for a decision that was anything but glorious.
And Now The Travesty of the Night: By this time, Paul Daley was wigging out so much that he just slugged Jeff Koscheck in the face out of sheer spite. The referee had to jump in and contain him. Can you say Mike Tyson moment? We are very disappointed by Paul Daley’s reaction and await to see what sanctions will be imposed on him. He deserves most of what is coming down to him – and for a young man who had so much unvarnished promise, this was very disappointing. How stupid and unprofessional can one be?
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UFC 104 Fight Video: Mauricio Shogun beats Machida bloody, but senile judges, and god knows what, rob him blind (Cyberaxis)