Can the UFC Survive with Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida as Champs?

Dorothy WillisSenior Writer IMay 24, 2009

The new version of the "Karate Kid" has come to town, and Grandma Dee wonders who will be able to survive his fighting style.

Since Lyota the "Dragon" Machida has been bred and raised by his father to do just what he did last night, become the new Light Heavyweight Champion of the World of MMA, can anyone survive him?

This question includes the future of the UFC organization, which put the belt around his waist last night.

Although my family and I eagerly awaited and watched every version of the original Karate Kid movies with Daniel-san, the new champion has not been quite so universally popular with fans in his past.

True, MMA connoisseurs realize that Machida and even the older established champion of the Middleweight division, Anderson Silva, have a counter-defensive style of fighting that many of the beer swilling fans at an event often find too slow and boring.

Hence the evidence of a great amount of loud booing after Anderson Silva "won" his last fight over fellow BJJ specialist Thiago Leites.

Dana White berated the MW Champion and sided with the disgruntled fans rather than pointing out that the object of fighting in the UFC is to win and retain championships.

If you think that was a strange turn of events, wait and see just how Mr. White will "counter" the future Machida fights that have the potential to also elicit more boos than cheers.

This is a rather unique yet serious question.

Many, like me, have pondered about why it took White and Joe Silva so long to hook Machida up with a championship shot after he humiliated Dana's nemesis Tito Ortiz and sent him off to pack it in after the final fight of Tito's UFC contract.

It is exceedingly difficult to look good fighting such an elusive counter-defence style fighter, and this problem will now face every single challenger to Machida's belt.

Rampage Jackson is the name that first comes to mind when one thinks of Machida's potential "next victim."

Indeed, Quentin was busy observing last night's fight from a premium front-row seat as was one of Machida's earlier victims, the "Prodigy" BJ Penn.

Though a rematch with BJ is highly unlikely, both men seemed to be mentally taking notes, as Rashad Evans eventually fell under Lyoto's power and then lay helplessly against the cage after his first time to ever be knocked out.

What a disheartening experience for the, until then, undefeated and now "former champ."

Though the much maligned and little respected Evans was very generous and ever the intelligent well-spoken fighter during his post-fight interview, he had little to say about what his game plan had been or why he failed to win the fight.

Maybe there is something to Lyoto's family tradition of drinking their own urine every morning after all.

(A question which Grandma Dee and many others will never be tempted to willingly investigate).

What I am mostly curious about is how Joe Silva and boss Dana White are going to market future UFC fights considering the fact that White considers this fighting style to be boring and not likely to put butts in seats the way that fights involving his other champions BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre, and Brock Lesnar are able to do.

Could these two counter-defensive fighters cause a downswing in filling seats, encouraging the continued purchasing of PPVs or of the eventual sales of the DVDs of the event?

Not being able to turn a profit and potential challengers not being able to decipher the code to unlock Silva's and Machida's mysteries may be a more deadly combination for the UFC than any situation it has faced so far in its short history.

I am sure that Dana White, Joe Silva, and even Grandma Dee will continue searching for the answers to this most recent MMA dilemma.