Lyoto Machida Remains "Untouchable"

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Lyoto Machida Remains
(Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images).

SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2009

Machida KOs Evans, Remains "Untouchable"

GueRRillaFight 5.24.09

It took just under four minutes of the second round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for Lyoto Machida to knock out  the defending Light Heavyweight Champion, Rashad Evans.

Both fighters had been undefeated coming into the night of Rashad's first title defense and it was inevitable that someone would leave with a blemish on their record. 

The first round began with a long feeling out period with Machida controlling the center of the octagon.  Rashad’s use of jerky head and shoulder movement did little to take the challenger out of his game.  

Instead, Machida remained composed, relaxed and patient while remaining just outside of Rashad’s range.  True to form, Lyoto, with his unorthodox, karate style, landed lightning fast kicks to the legs and body of Rashad, at one point knocking Rashad down and winning the first round without taking on any damage of his own. 

His precise speed and technique appeared to have Rashad questioning his own strategy as Lyoto ended the first round without being so much as grazed.

The second round began just as the first had but this time both fighters were a little more aggressive and willing to throw.  While Rashad was finally able to connect with his opponent midway through the round, he didn’t inflict any damage.  

Machida turned things back around quickly and after a barrage of strikes, a vicious left-hook put Evans to sleep at the 3:57 mark ending his undefeated moniker and relinquishing his title to an unscathed Lyoto Machida.

In interviews after the fight, Machida declared that “karate is back” while Rashad Evans simply stated what the rest of us had just witnessed. “He (Lyoto) was very difficult to solve, very fast and explosive.”  

It would seem that the next fighter to have an opportunity to solve the riddle of now 15-0 Lyoto Machida will be former champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. 

-Nando / GueRRillaFight.com

 

FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009

Hughes Vs. Serra; Bad Blood

Hughes vs. Serra  …Better late than never

GueRRillaFight.com  5.22.09

Saturday night’s showdown between Matt Hughes and Matt Serra is not only a battle ripe with animosity but it is also a fight that has quite possibly been equalized by time.  A few years back, Matt Hughes was a full fledged 170lb smashing machine. 

He ruled the welterweight division in a dominating fashion winning 14 straight fights before running into a speed bump named B.J. Penn back in 2004.  After that loss, he racked up six more wins before Georges St. Pierre staked claim on the division. 

Hughes went on to lose a second time to St.Pierre and then to be TKO’d by Thiago Alves. Though these losses are nothing to be ashamed of, they do show that he is indeed beatable and maybe the hands of time have caught up with him. 

 

In the interim, the corn-fed country boy from Illinois has become arch rivals with quick talking, tell-it-like-it-is New Yorker, Matt Serra.  Serra’s stint on The Ultimate Fighter reality show spawned a mutual dislike between himself and Hughes and also led him to an opportunity to fight then title holder, Georges St. Pierre.  

He seized the opportunity and shockingly, dismantled the champion with a vicious and relentless tenacity, defeating GSP in less then three and a half minutes by way of TKO.  Slated to face Hughes after that fight, Serra incurred a back injury that put him on the sidelines for just over a year.  

His return to the octagon was met with a brutally dominant, one-sided beating by GSP, who reminded the world why he is by quite possibly the greatest fighter on the planet.

 

Now here we are and more than two years have passed since either fighter has tasted victory in the octagon.  While Hughes is pegged as a slamming, take-down, ground-n-pound, one trick pony, it has undoubtedly proven to be quite effective throughout his career.  

Serra on the other hand has been slated as a slick submission wiz who realistically only has one submission in the UFC back in 2002 against a one dimensional stand-up fighter named Kelly Dullanty who never again fought in the big show.  

His submission skills may help him avoid damage on the ground but it is highly unlikely that he will submit a crafty veteran like Matt Hughes.  His greatest hope for victory is in having lightning strike twice (think GSP 1) and connect with one of his jack hammer like punches.  

If not, Serra can expect a long night, and a probable loss to two time welterweight champion, Matt Hughes.

Nando / GueRRillaFight.com

 

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