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It wasn't long ago that Joe Rogan was declaring it "The Machida Era," in fact it was just two short years ago when Machida dominated and disposed of the then undefeated, reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans.
He needed less than two rounds to put the Team Jackson fighter on queer street. It was a dominating performance that was to be the beginning of a long and storied career.
Here we are two years and two losses later and people are questioning whether or not this is a must win situation for the Karate and BJJ black belt. After his defeated Evans he would defend his title once in very controversial fashion against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 104 in a fight many felt he had lossed.
Rua gained his revenge and the light heavyweight title seven months later at UFC 113 when he knocked Machida out in the first round.
Up next was a showdown with another former champion in Rampage Jackson at UFC 123. This time Machida was on the wrong end of a controversial decision as he lost via split decision and had now suffered two straight losses.
Enter "The Natural" a freak of nature in every way, shape or form. At 47-years-old Couture is stepping into the Octagon once again to test himself against one of the very best the UFC has to offer.
Captain America has won his last three bouts with wins over Mark Coleman, Brandon Vera and former boxing champion James Toney.
Couture is not only a highly trained athlete he is also one of the very best when it comes to drawing up and implementing a game plan. We all know where his best shot at winning this bout lies, against the fence where he can wear Machida down with some dirty boxing.
He will try and take "The Dragon" down, but I am not sure how successful he will be when doing so.
Each man has his own reasons for wanting to win. For Couture it's an opportunity for him to either end his career with another big win as the underdog or a chance for him to make some noise and possibly line himself up for one last run at the light heavyweight title he has held on two previous occasions.
Machida wants this win to stop the bleeding and to prove that he is the fighter that many thought would be the kingpin of the 205lb division for the next few years. Machida is hungry and quite possibly very desperate.
When a fighter gets desperate they either put on the fight of their life or they make a mistake and wind up losing another bout.
I would love to see Couture win and hang up his gloves once and for all. What better way to go out than to have beaten a former champion in front of 60,000 fans?
Machida for all intents and purposes could have just hit a rough patch, maybe he had some nagging injuries or maybe fighters need to lose once in awhile to remember what got them to the dance to begin with.
What I want to happen and what I think will happen are two totally different things. I believe Machida will prove to be too elusive for Couture and will eventually impose his will upon the graceful former two division champion.
Lyoto Machida via 2nd round TKO.
Thanks for the memories Randy, you will never be forgotten!