Lyoto Machida Defeats Rashad Evans: A New Era in MMA

Brian BemisContributor IMay 26, 2009

Has MMA reached a new level? Will good fighters now not be good enough to beat the very best?  Will the elite fighters be so far advanced that title holders destroy every opponent with ease?  These are questions I have been thinking about since Anderson Silva came onto the scene.

Just look at Rashad Evans face as he hit the ground against Lyoto Machida.  This was not your typical lucky shot and he was knocked out.  This loss was comprised of a series of well place shots, with plenty of power to rock an opponent like Rashad Evans.

Never knocked out before you would expect other opponents to do more damage than Machida.  However, Machida has such a unique style and appears to effortlessly take opponents down, move out of the way of kicks and strikes as well as avoid "fist in face collisions".

Let's step back and take a look at Rashad's improvement over his last 10 fights.  Yeah, you can say what you want, that he is not liked and his antics in the ring are uncalled for, but before this knockout loss it had not happened before.

Rashad had been placed in the octagon with some very high profile fighters and had overcome two weight divisions with wins.  He developed a style that worked for him and he improved with each fight. How was he just "schooled" so to speak and made to look like a beginner?

Is Machida a man or machine?  I don't think he has been hit more than five times total in any fight.  Silva is elusive as well.  What has prepared them to be the best and have a distinct way of winning?  Why have they excelled above the rest?

Machida's style has not been a favored one by a long shot.  Even Dana White, UFC's President, had words regarding this style in the past.  He believed the style was lacking excitement and a good show.  I think what we witnessed this weekend is a look at the future and what could be one sided fights for years to come.

In the beginning I have to admit I thought it was boring to see Machida fight.  I have to say I am a huge fan now and can't wait to see how he continues his quest to better his record. This could end very quickly with one well placed punch right up the side of his head or he could be the title holder for many fights.

Either way I would like to see Machida and Anderson Silva fight. I think if Machida defends his belt twice and Silva still has his belt this fight would be a huge draw.

So my point is this. MMA fighters like Machida, Silva and Fedor are people that have surpassed the average fighter.  They have found a formula for success and it has put them a notch above the average fighter.

How long will these guys hold titles and when they are beaten, if ever, what level of fighting are we about to witness?  Sure people like to see knockouts, but at the end of the day a well planned strategy that is executed flawlessly wins the fight and the chess match so to speak can be a very interesting fight.

MMA started as a brawl.  Progressed to one speciality like wrestling, boxing or Jiu-Jitsu. Then fighters started adding the extras and learning two or three things to be competitive. Now we are in an era where diet, exercise, training of multiple disciplines and understanding oxygen levels is becoming the norm.

I don't know about you, but I believe that the MMA world is about to turn the corner and in the next three to five years we will see a new breed of fighter.  Super human?  No, but very lethal, dangerous, entertaining.