5 Reasons to Root for Lyoto Machida at UFC 157

Matt Molgaard@MattmolgaardCorrespondent IIIFebruary 22, 2013

5 Reasons to Root for Lyoto Machida at UFC 157

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    Lyoto Machida will meet Dan Henderson in the co-main event of UFC 157 on Saturday night. There’s a lot on the line for these two, with the victor more than likely to earn a shot at the current champion Jon Jones.

    While both Machida and Henderson are popular commodities, and both bring completely different tools to the table, only one will step away from action this weekend with his hand raised.

    I’m a long, long, longtime fan of Dan Henderson, and I’d love to see him tangle with “Bones.” With that being said, it might be better for Machida, who (arguably) brings more tools to the table to toe the line with the champion.

    Why root for “The Dragon”? I’ll tell you why.

Fan Friendly

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    Fans love Lyoto Machida. His respectful demeanor has marked him a true celebrity in today’s mixed martial arts scene. In a sport cluttered with “bad guys,” we need the occasional hero.

    “The Dragon” epitomizes sportsmanship, and carries himself as a gentleman outside of the cage as well as in.

    Why root for Lyoto Machida come Saturday night? Because he’s the kind of man you want your offspring to idolize.

Unorthodox Style

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    Machida’s karate-based style makes for an aesthetically pleasing viewing experience.

    The man is deceptively quick, very elusive and precise yet conservative. Bull rush Machida and you’re asking for a serious headache...after the referee and cage-side physicians have woken you up, that is.

Movie-Like Finishes

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    Fans love jaw-dropping finishes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with out-working an opponent over the course of 15 minutes, but that simply isn’t as enthralling as watching one man knock another into frightening unconsciousness.

    Lyoto Machida is a man who has become known for turning opponents into hapless victims destined to fill space in his ever-expanding highlight reel.

    Just ask Randy Couture, Ryan Bader, Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva.

The Man With the Greatest Chance of Dethroning Jon Jones

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    I’m game to see Alexander Gustafsson tangle with current champion Jon Jones. Dan Henderson also makes for an interesting matchup stylistically. Hell, to be honest, I’m excited to see what Chael Sonnen can manage.

    However, if anyone is going to take Jones’ belt away any time soon, Machida looks like the man to do it.

    Machida gave Jones issues the first time they met back at UFC 140. If he can keep his wits about him and stick strictly to a well-designed game plan, he might just be the guy to bring an end to the reign of “Bones.”

The ‘Art’ Back in Martial Arts

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    MMA is often criticized by general sports analysts. MMA has been called everything from human cockfighting to a showcase of the barbaric. The truth is, these athletes study martial arts like no man’s business, and train on a seemingly endless basis.

    No one embodies the essence of martial arts quite like Machida. He’s not inside the cage because he finds some strange gratification in hurting men. He’s not inside the cage to be a star. He’s in the cage to test his martial arts abilities against the best in the world.

    I’m not sure how you measure chi, but this man has it going on!

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