UFC 129 Results: Can Lyoto Machida Derail the Jon Jones Hype Train?

Todd Seyler@toddseylerContributor IMay 7, 2011

Lyoto Machida delivering a vicious crane kick
Lyoto Machida delivering a vicious crane kick

Delivering a Knockout of the Night crane kick to the jaw of the immortal Randy Couture during their matchup at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida has rebounded from his defeat to both Quinton Jackson and Mauricio Rua and elevated his stature within the UFC light heavyweight division.

Holding notable victories over Rich Franklin, B.J. Penn, Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua and the aforementioned Randy Couture, Machida has competed against some of the sports best fighters.

This Brazilian born mixed martial artist is a former UFC light heavyweight champion and is currently ranked the No. 5 light heavyweight fighter on the planet.

With an overall MMA record of 17-2 with six knockouts, "The Dragon" has re-positioned himself amongst the list of contenders viable to face the current UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon "Bones" Jones.

Defeating Mauricio Rua in March of this year to claim the championship title, Jones' reign at the top will be tested.

Known for his athleticism and unpredictability within his striking, Jones has demolished each opponent he has faced, including notable victories over Brandon Vera, Vladimir Matyushenko, Ryan Bader and most recently, Rua.

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With an amazing 84.5" reach, explosiveness, tremendous athleticism and a solid wrestling background, Jones may be the quintessential ultimate fighter created by engineers in a laboratory.

Receiving rightful accolades, I do believe that Machida may be the one light heavyweight contender who could challenge Jones for his championship.

"The Dragon's" fighting style is grounded in karate. He is known for his elusiveness, dynamic strikes from various angles and planes, as well as his cautious, yet precise, counter striking. 

Machida, like Jones, is extremely unpredictable inside the Octagon. Unlike Jones, who is more of an explosive, aggressive, mauling style of fighter, Machida is tactically precise and delivers punches and kicks with perfect execution.

That difference in the ability to deliver a perfect strike may off-set Jones' advantages inside the Octagon. 

Due to the elusiveness of both fighters, and the fact that both Machida and Jones create abnormal striking angles, the winner of this matchup will be determined by a random variable.

I believe the advantage in the variable department lies with Machida, because he is not only athletic, elusive, dynamic and a solid all-around fighter with a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, he is also extremely precise with his strikes and delivers knockout power with perfect execution. 

If you doubt Machida's stand-up brilliance; just ask Randy Couture.

Fully aware of the level of difficulty that faces Machida if he is honored with a title shot against Jon Jones, I still feel that of the talent pool that resides within the UFC, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida's fighting style would prepare the former champion with the ability to once again reign supreme within the UFC light heavyweight division.

I welcome your comments.

Todd Seyler

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