Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida, has—in the minds of some—lost more battles than he has won this year.
The only problem with that statement,—is that the brilliant Brazilian fourth-degree black belt shotokan karate master, and elite undefeated 205 lb. UFC champion of the world, hasn't lost a thing.
After Machida's first fight against Mauricio Rua ended in a unanimous decision victory in his favor he may have lost a little of his reputation of invincibility, but otherwise Machida remains to be the UFC's undefeated, and somewhat indefatigable champion.
And usually—when the job at hand is not completed—like the owner of the proverbial free standing, and newly built sand castle, that some kid felt the need to kick over—you simply wait for the next wave to come back in, moisten up your sand, and start having your Machida brothers, maybe even your Machida dad, come help you build an even bigger one.
What Machida lost that night in the cage was pride, which is just as bad, if not worse for him, a person with self respect and a true hunger to be the worlds best.
Machida showed his vulnerabilities for all to see, and that probably will light a fire under the ass of this champion who has everything to lose, and also has a little something to win back, respect.
How do you overcome a seemingly endless carnage of body's you have created over the years only to have your own break down on you at the worst possible moment in your life. Rua could have limped off into the the sunset, never really a champion, but undoubtedly one of the most devastating strikers ever.
But when a mans style of fighting has been built around certain rules—Pride FC rules—which he has adhered to like glue, with his "iron clad stomps" and 2 x 4 type kicks—only to have to transition again into another style, UFC rules, he then has a tremendously "tough row to hoe."
UFC 113, Montreal, Shogun vs. Machida, Rua will likely continue to try to work those bone breaking kicks, and Machida will still try and be the Floyd Mayweather Jr, or the Sugar Ray Leonard, the Pernell Whitaker, or maybe himself; the elusive silent assassin with a viper pit's under his nose sniffing the air, tasting it, waiting for just the right moment to strike.
You are "The Dragon" Machida. Do not run at your opponent thinking you are going to "put hands" on him. Plan smartly, plan on your adversary remembering the first match, maybe even learning a little from the original "go 'round."
Be cautious, he can hurt you but you still have to use your best weapons, which are those devastating leg kicks.
Don't jump in without caution you will just end up the bootlicker, you are Mauricio "Shogun "Rua.
This fight comes down to heart, who wants it the most.
I myself would prefer a great fight, with a Shogun victory, which would go straight into trilogy history, but I'm afraid it is not meant to be.
You get one chance at Machida in this period of his life, and while you did something special that night in Los Angeles Mr. Rua, the stars are not lined up for you this Saturday night.
LYOTO MACHIDA BY TKO ROUND FOUR..............SORRY SHOGUN