As I begin writing this article, I know in my heart that I will be burned at the proverbial stake. Still, I must write with the courage of my convictions. Sharpen your pitchforks and light your torches.
First, let me say that the chorus of complaints concerning Lyoto Machida are not without merit. As I watched him easily evade and endlessly tap Tito Ortiz, I wondered why he didn't go ahead and finish the guy already. He obviously had the tools.
Ortiz wasn't able to mount any significant offense and when the fight finally did hit the floor at the end of round one, there seemed to be nothing there for Machida to fear. Tito's ground and pound was like the empty closet of a second grader. Feared, but ultimately harmless.
Why didn't Machida take the fight to Tito? Simple. Machida prefers to play chess rather than pissing-for-distance.
Don't get me wrong, I love watching a good old-fashioned slobber-knocker as much as everybody else. Two guys standing toe to toe scarfing down punches makes me jump around and high five my buddies and swear excitedly the same way you do.
And, if you've got a skull like a billy goat and don't mind losing now and then, it's not a bad path to notoriety in the UFC. Tank Abbott made a living off of it.
Coincidentally, he never had a fight enter the second round. He has a career record of 9-14, yet we all know who he is. He's that guy who loves serving and munching on punches.
Machida doesn't intend to go that route and I don't mind it at all. There isn't another fighter like him, so he entertains me regardless. For the casual MMA fan, however, his style doesn't impress.
In order to strike a compromise, I've created a list of things you can do while Machida fights. When it's over, tune in for the rest of the event. You won't feel cheated and I can watch a cerebral fighter at work.
1. Get online and watch a couple Bum-Fights. These guys don't know anything about avoiding damage or proper technique, so there's sure to be some blood—and fast!
2. Watch a Toughman Contest. See No. 1 for further explanation.
3. Put in your Bloodsport DVD and watch Jean-Claude kick ass! Never a boring moment and not at all like real fighting. If you have a good imagination, you can pretend he's GSP!
4. Turn to NASCAR and hope for a crash.
5. Rollerderby is back!
6. Go to YouTube and search for "owned." That'll keep you busy for as long as it takes Machida to dissect whoever he's fighting. If you do run out, try "pwned."
7. Cops is usually on somewhere, check the menu.
8. Buy one of the WWE DVDs about Ric Flair. Now that guy could entertain! Whoo!
9. Watch the fight, but take a drink every time Machida dodges a punch.
I hope this has been helpful.
P.S. This is all in good fun and I hope everyone gets a laugh. I'm just trying to stick up for Machida as he is a top-notch fighter with wins over some pretty formidable opponents. It's frustrating to see him passed over for a shot at Griffin because he's deemed too "boring" to be marketable.
Machida fans, feel free to suggest other items for the list. Anti-fans, feel free to suggest things as well...I'll get you started: Take a nap, make a sandwich, etc.