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UFC 140 Fight Card: Why Steven Seagal's Absence Will Cost Machida the Title

UNITED STATES - MAY 29:  Steven Seagal smiles after missing his putt for charity during the Final Round of The Fedex St. Jude Classic at TPC @ Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee on May 29, 2005.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Jake MartinCorrespondent IIIDecember 21, 2016

The absence of Steven Seagal will ultimately cost Lyoto Machida the UFC light heavyweight championship tonight against Jon Jones.

Not Jon Jones’ athletic ability, not his destructive Muay Thai, not his underrated jiu-jitsu skills or his unmatched wrestling skills at light heavyweight, but it’s the absence of the sensei that will cost Machida tonight.

Insert sarcasm here.

Obviously, I think Jones’ abilities will ultimately be “The Dragon’s” downfall, but on a more serious note, the absence of Seagal can’t help Machida.

What was the last image imbedded in all of Machida’s fans brains at UFC 129? It was “the crane kick.” It was a jumping front kick to the face that knocked out Randy Couture and was taught to Machida by none other than Seagal.

Well, now Machida is getting ready to take on Jones for the title, and he will be without the sensei. In fact, word around the barber shop is that Machida hasn’t worked out with Seagal all training camp. What’s up with that?

Seagal told the Toronto Sun that he believes Machida basically has this. It’s not like Machida is fighting one of the top pound-for-pound fighters or anything. Jones a good puncher or kicker? The sensei is not impressed by his performance (GSP voice).

I’m still trying to decide why Seagal didn’t work out with Machida for perhaps Machida’s biggest fight in his MMA career. I’m a firm believer in the old phrase, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” so I’m really questioning why Seagal and Machida didn’t train together for this fight.

Ultimately, Machida has a chance because it’s a fight and Machida is a great striker, but with that said, Jones is becoming a one-man dynasty.

He not only beats everyone he encounters, but he destroys them and makes you question how good the fighter was in the first place.

If Machida tries to play the distance game with Jones, he’s going to get burned. Jones has the longest reach in the UFC and Machida will have problems getting in and out without taking shots from the champ.

So Seagal or no Seagal, the result might be the same. But I’d definitely be more willing to place my bets on Machida if the sensei was in his corner tonight.


Be sure to stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all things UFC 140. B/R is your home for complete coverage of the December 10 fight card, from pre-fight predictions to in-fight coverageresults and post-fight analysis.

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