Let me tell you this,before Machida fought rashad i did not like him much. I thought he was a boring fighter who got a lucky KO over Tiago Silva. Then i saw him fight Rashad,and after watching the fight i did not really become a fan of machida. But there were two things said that night that i thought were going to bring a big big change in the world of MMA and UFC especially.
One of those things was when Joe Rogan said "welcome to the machida era".....and then Machida said,with great enthusiasm, "Karate is back!". And i believed both of them. I was always wondering that why a great combat art like Karate or kung fu was not successful in MMA although they are the most feared around. But machida brought it back.Then i saw his interviews,some of them taken during the build up to his fights.He was confident about himself,confident to the point of arrogance and that is how you survive in this world,being good at what you do and be arrogant that nothing can beat you and you have the best technique of all. I,like everyone else,was impressed and thought machida for a good time would be unbeatable. In my mind i saw him win against rampage,forest,vera,cain, and every other LHW contender.I did not see him facing my favourite fighter off all time in all weight classes,Shogun.
Mauricio Shogun Rua. A complete opposite to Machida in his interviews and his body language. Humble,soft spoken and gave respect to his opponents before and after the fight. And he was confident and like machida,he was good at his art.
It was a pleasent surprise when UFC decided to give Shogun a title shot. There were a lot of fights in the past that i went crazy waiting for. Brock-Mir II , ortiz-liddel II, Shamrock-ortiz tiology,huges-GSP II,rampage-henderson etc. But when shogun was set to fight machida,i couldnt wait.why?
I followed shogun's path all the was from his fights in pride to UFC. And now we all know what i allready knew,his loss to forest and lacklustre performance against coleman was due to layoffs and injuries. Not many people gave him credit for his win over chuck saying chuck was a fading fighter. And sadly these were the same people who were not really following Shogun while he was in pride. If you are a new MMA fan and you sit and watch all shogun fights you havent previously seen,i dont think it is the same as watching it when it happened,waiting months for the next fight,discussing it with your friends and then see the fight happen. Same with any fighter.
So most of the people who thought machida would tear shogun apart where these kind of fans.And a few old school fans who were impressed with the mixture of karate and sumo,plus KO over rashad and tiago helped.
Now we come to the fight. I had nothing to drink,eat or smoke while i watched the fight.I made it a point to be alone while i was watching this fight and my heart was in my mouth for 25 minutes of action.Shogun was taking on Machida,possibly the thoughest fight of his carrer. I knew he would win. But one punch can change a fight as we saw against rashad and tiago.Rashad said when machida hit him it felt like pillows and i believe him because he was talking while getting hit. But then a brick hidden in the pillow did knock him out.
I was very excited because i knew what shogun was capable of and how elusive machida was.But u stay in the limelight for long and people start to figure you out. By the end of round two i was smiling and i knew shogun was winning,i think most of us did. 3rd round they got into a slug fest and shogun ate the pillows and survived because of two reasons 1) machida was unable to land the hidden brick or a clean hard shot 2) shogun landed the hardest punch of the exchange. That shogun punch made machida immediately clinch him and avoid further damage.
Third and fourth round was shogun's by a long shot.
Final bell rings and u can see from the reaction,shogun knows he won.People like you and me sitting at home knew Shogun won.MACHIDA knew shogun won,raising his hands for a couple of seconds before catching a breather in his corner.You have to look at him when the results are announced, disappointed when the scores were read and surprised after his name was announced. You can see how confident Shogun's camp was,while he was wearing his tshirt u can hear his team telling him to call out anderson silvia.I was gutted when buffer announced machida the winner. Dana immidiately went out to shogun and said he thought he shogun won the fight. Shogun just nodded in appreciation.
Another arrogant speach by machida and i did not watch the evet further.
The JUDGES!! this is what Cecil Peoples,one of the judges, said.
"First of all what you need to understand is that from where the judges are sitting, we get to see things that the fans at home may miss"
I think most of the fans would disagree.
"Although Rua threw a lot of low kicks they were not as damaging as Lyoto's diverse attack in the earlier rounds which is why I scored the first three rounds for Machida"
Diverse attacks? what is the use of a "diverse attack" if u dont connect and damage? And shogun's kicks were not damaging? After every round machida's corner was telling him to "keep shogun away from your legs" and "get closer". His legs were strawberry red and were iced every break.He was slightly limping around and clearly scared to get hit in those injured legs again and again.
"You have to keep in mind we always the favor the fighter who is trying to finish the fight, and leg kicks certainly don't do that."
leg kicks dont finish fights??!!!! And strikes to the head that dont connect or do no damage end fights? because all lyoto did was try to land punches but hardly succeeded
i have no idea what to say to this comment.
"When both fighters are engaged in a striking match what I always look for is the fighter who is being judicious, picking his spots, being accurate and landing the cleaner strikes which ultimately is what Lyoto did more effectively than Rua"
I all the fans and UFC FIGHTERS thought Rua took advantage of the openings that lyoto left open. look at lyoto's face and shogun's face at the end of the fight and tell them who landed the "cleaner shots".Look at the exchange at the end of third round and see how many punches that machida threw actually landed on shogun.And shogun's one clean strike made machida tremble and clinch him.
"Lyoto made Shogun come after him, he determined where the fight took place which in my opinion constitutes as effective Octagon control"
Ok,let's say we believe what u just said. Lyoto made Rua come after him and determined where the fight took place,but he got hid butt kicked where ever he took rua to. So effective octagoan control is useless if ur getting beat up everywhere!
"I recognize the fact that Rua did have a few takedown attempts during the course of the fight however Lyoto defended them all successfully which counts as effective grappling in his favor, where as unsuccessful takedown attempts are not scored at all. Therefore going by that criteria, I believe Lyoto won the fight clearly. I'm just glad the other judges on the panel saw it the same way and I'm sure the fans who understand the technicalities of the sport agree with the decision too."
I dont know if the sucessfull grappler criteria which this "judge" explained exists or not....all i know is if u make a submission attempt and it is unsucessfull,u get the points not the one who sucessfully defends the attempt.So sucessfully defending the takedown wins points against takedown attempts?
and he says
"I'm sure the fans who understand the technicalities of the sport agree with the decision too".
Randy couture gave the fight 4-1 to SHOGUN.
Rampage said "I am ashamed of the UFC" because of the decision.
Dana clearly said he thought shogun won.
MACHIDA fans booed the decision.
The MMA universe booed the UFC.
On a night where there were no winners,only shogun got the respect and recognition that he deserved.