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More Machida stuff

I know y’all think I’m on a hate-run with Lyoto Machida. Truth be told, it’s too bad he’s not as exciting in the cage as the conversations about him tend to get. Today we’ve got more fighters saying they don’t want to fight Machida – and bad news for Lyoto … it’s the two guys fighting over the light heavyweight belt:

It’s not going to be easy to book Machida’s fights going forward.   The top guys have very little to gain by fighting him.   If they lose a boring fight, it’s terrible for their reputation and drawing power, and if they beat him, the win doesn’t really do much besides boost their credibility among hardcore MMA fans.   Even Quinton Jackson has given some signals of late that he is not interested in this fight.   The other day he made it clear that he only wants to fight guys that come in and fight, not guys who run away.

Pleasing fans isn’t the only obstacle for Machida now.   The next one is going to be convincing fighters that there is any upside at all in fighting him, because you need two signatures to finalize a fight contract.

After pulling a Clockwork Orange on myself and watching all his fights, I think I see a few potential ways to ‘crack’ Lyoto’s style:

Keep your distance: Lyoto’s ability to utilize the hit and run is based on a really good sense of distance … he’ll creep into your zone and drop a single kick or punch and then escape. If you’re mindful of this and stay one step outside, you’ll either have a boring match of epic proportions (very likely), or you’ll force him to break his gameplan and overextend himself (very unlikely).

Apply pressure: This is easier said than done. Guys like David Heath tried and failed to pull this off, eating punches, kicks, and knees every time with nothing but an armful of air for his efforts. But if you’re able to take his strikes and willing to accept that a decision will favor Machida, then you’re in a position to keep pushing the pressure. Cut off his angles, get him against the fence, and drag him down. This is probably the hardest method to beat Machida because it plays right into his style.

Playing possum: Lyoto stays on the outside except in the dying seconds of a round or when he thinks he has you hurt. So it goes to reason that the best way to tie Machida up on the ground is to trick him into following you there. Take a hit, crumple, and wait for him to jump on top of you. Sure, being on your back isn’t exactly the best place to be, but we’re just talking about getting Machida out of his ‘hit and run’ game. If Tito can nearly finish Machida with a triangle, then I’m sure someone with a good submission game can capitalize.

  • Reverend Clint

    Sounds like Chuck might have the answer for Lyoto’s elusive style… either than or it would end up the most boring fight ever.

  • Burtonchik

    I think they should put a LHW Anderson Silva against Lyoto Machida and see what happens.

  • jolan

    I heard Kalib Starnes trained with Machida for his fight against Nate Quarry.

  • Jemaleddin

    The only thing more elusive than Machida: whichever fighter Joe Silva’s pursuing to fight him.

  • x5BoltMainx

    Lyoto trains with Anderson, so that fight wont happen :(

  • garth

    I really hope Machida somehow takes this belt, just to listen to the endless whining.

  • smoogleton

    lol @ your completely inept analysis… yeah, keeping a distance has proven to be SO effective vs. Lyoto. Its sad how you are trying to identify as the “blogger who hates Machida”, its like some half-baked strategy to lure in simpleton UFC fans

  • fightlinker

    half baked enough to keep luring you in ;-)

  • DannyP72

    If he keeps winning fights, the top fighters will have to fight him eventually.

    Can’t run forever boys

  • Elfenstein

    since when could UFC fighters refuse to fight strong fighters with good records =? is mr.jackson only accepting fights that will make him look good winning or look good whilst being ko’d ?

    im slightly puzzled

  • Fightlinker Jackal

    I’ve enjoyed Machida’s last two fights and look forward to his next one.

  • Márcio

    If the next champ doesn’t want to fight Machida (a champion who isn’t ready to defend his title against anyone is shit anyway) all he has to do is give up his belt. Problem solved.

  • RoB

    i agree with rampage 100%……. hey if the ufc can forget about okami come time to pick a #1 contender (even with the great bad blood story of okami vs silva) you better dam well believe they can do it to machida… lord willing

  • Johnny

    I’m not convinced by the rumours. The context of Rampage’s statement is unclear and gives us no reason to think he’s hinting at Lyoto. And Griffin’s statement is obviously taken out of context, which was, in full:

    “I want nothing to do with that guy. Not at all. He’s a tough fighter and I’d like to fight a lot of other guys first.”

    Much more vague than the partial quote and invented context suggest.

    Keep your distance: a good strategy if you’re faster, longer, and more accurate than Machida. But no one in the 205 lbs division meets those criteria, IMO.

    Apply pressure: I’d call it getting close. David Heath didn’t close the gap (yeah, he tried), but Nakamura succeeded regularly, and he exhausted Lyoto as a result. Tito got close once or twice in Round 3 and scored more hits than Machida as a result, but it was too little too late.

    Because Lyoto’s not a very powerful striker, it’s surprising that his opponents so rarely try to close the gap. Nakamura convinced me that it works. Sure, eating his left jab sucks, but not as much as losing the fight.

    Playing possum: Machida’s ground game is excellent. Fighting him from the bottom is therefore not going to get him “out of his game.”

  • andres

    i got one check it out if the cae was square id be able to corner him but sisnce its and octogon hell be able to run but in a square cageid get him in a corner clinch up and landsome knees ad while backng away land my puches orjust cornr him and go sav on his ass i like the last one better

  • Jay

    Wow, great advice! I know that when *I’m* fighting the third best LHW in the world, I always get my fight plan from two of shape losers who occasionally post stories from bloodyelbow and 5 ounces of pain when they’re not too busy jerking each other off. Keeping your distance while applying pressure? Vague, generic, *and* contradictory advice. Feigning injury during a fight? That’s a great way to be rocketed to the top of the MMA world. I have more advice along these lines: Hit him more times and harder than he hits you. Also, when he’s in your guard, tell him that he’s sexy and making you hard (in Portuguese, of course).

  • Eugene

    To the uneducated fight fans Lyoto might look unexciting. To the rest he is very exciting. Skill like his is extremely rare.

    Strategies 1 and 3 are ridiculously bad. Strategy two is the only one with a chance. Well that and maybe Lyoto has a glass jaw. No one has been quick enough to test it yet.

  • Jemaleddin

    @Eugene: Hi. I’m an educated fight fan. And I find Machida unexciting.

    So stop saying that. Thanks.

    Also: THANK GOODNESS SKILL LIKE HIS IS RARE. I honestly don’t need that much sleep.

  • sEAn

    LMAO @ Jay!!!!! excellent my dear boy… simply excellent

  • pissypants

    Why is it that everyone who doesn’t want to suck Macheetah’s kawk is an uneducated caveman TUF noob?

  • ajadoniz

    fuck machida. why should other fighters step up to his stupid style. HE should come to them because his style sucks and the lucrative average joe (theres more of them than us) HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE him. theres no money in him. simple as that.

  • Stephen Rhodes

    I can assure you that an opponent will be found for Lyoto. The challenge will be finding one who is similar or as close as possible to Lyoto’s skill set, which will not be easy. Wanderlei Silva comes to mind.

  • Wamker

    are you retarded? silva’s range and ability to chase people down suck!!! he’ll lose a decision to machida…

  • andres

    drum rolll please

    the answer is chuck he has the samestyle as chuck well the old chuck that would put people to sleep manman if only machida put ppl to sleep than wed be singing another song here wouldnt we

    imeanthey both try to avoid being in a slugfestnd just throw oneor two punches right except chuck throws them hard and machida doesnt have ta power

  • Mowgli

    To beat Machida, you’ve really got to cut off the cage. It’s a tough thing to do in an octagon as you don’t have any hard corners, but you can still use the cage to limit his movements some if you’re strong enough and skilled enough. Cut the cage off and use the clinch to limit his ability to move. The thing is that he is strong enough in the clinch to beat most chumps that that game, but there are definitely a few top tier fighters that can beat him at that game.
    Secondly, any fighter that gets nearly submitted by Tito Ortiz does not have an amazing ground game. He may have a respectable ground game, but there is doubt casted upon it the second that Ortiz started to cinch up that triangle (mind you, I guess there is always the element of surprise given that it’s the last thing you would expect from that big dumb ape). He is very slippery and tough to hold down and pound, but when coupled with good control on the feet, putting down, even for a short while will help give you an edge on points. He is solid at stuffing take downs and has good submission defense, but for a strong ground fighter, he may be vulnerable to somebody just dropping down and then pulling guard and working for the quick sweep and reversal.
    Thirdly, use lateral movement to beat him at his own game. For a fighter that moves in an out to tag you and then escape a great response is not to be there when he moves in. As he moves in, side step and throw a combo at him as he goes by. This is easier said than done, but if you use the cage to cut off the space a bit, this strategy is effective for evasive fighters (this strategy is even better for square rings). Machida tends to “move through” an opponent when striking (not backing away after throwing, but striking and moving past the opponent and out of harms way), so by side stepping the initial strike and throwing a counter, you’re hitting him and essentially doing the same thing he does.
    Lastly, work the cardio like a motherfucker. The reason Machida wins fights by decision is that he is evasive, but when he is in close he tends to out-strike his opponents 1.5 or 2-1 in terms of volume thrown. Even if the strikes are ineffective, if somebody has the cardio to just throw high numbers of strikes through the first round or two, it will force him to at least believe that he is behind on the scores and thus engage more in the fight to bring it back. Esp. with a lot of the dumbass judges out there, if you’re throwing more, the judges will assume you’re landing more (even if you aren’t) and you can outpoint him even if you’re not landing much.

  • Santiago

    This Machida talk feels like Fox news talking about MMA. Quit bitching around, this is Mixed Martial Arts not Mixed Brawl and Headahces. Karate is a Martial Art. Just as Jujitsu is a Martial Art.

    All this whinning remembers me of the times UFC fanboys didn’t like the grounda game.

    You will grow it out.

  • Vee

    ^Fightlinker, here’s the deal with Machida.
    Let’s see who he fights next. Some people hate his style, others respect and appreciate him. The UFC has to match him up against another top-tier fighter like maybe very aggressive, Wanderlei or Thiago Silva. After all this is a win-first ranking sports culture that values winning above all else (and entertainment), just ask Wanderlei who’s currently 1-3. Although fans that questioned Wanderlei’s legacy prior to the Jardine fight, tend to forget that he fought some heavyweights in Pride, one of those recent losses was to Cro-Cop.

    At this point, everybody knows that they will have to bring the fight to Machida. No excuses . . . just beat the guy. It really doesn’t matter whether some people think he’s sooooooooo boring OR Freaking Sucks or is the a Kalib-Starnes-elusive-fighting-strategist in the Octagon representing Karate.

    Eventually Joe Silva will find an opponent (HOPEFULLY A WARRIOR like) Wanderlei and then the anti/pro Machida posts and threads can start all over again. But reportedly Wanderlei didn’t want to fight Machida on the July 19th card. So who knows.

    “Truth be told, it’s too bad he’s not as exciting in the cage as the conversations about him tend to get. ” That’s just about it.

  • Zombie Rock

    An explosive fighter with a strong chin could drop Machida, so long as they stayed moving forward. Chuck or Wandy could pull Machida’s bitch card.

  • Zombie Rock

    Matter of fact, I’d even give Hendo at light heavy a shot against him.

  • Vee

    Hey, I think Matt Hamill can give Machida problems. Basically many LHW can give him problems, that is if they can and will force the fight.

    Force Machida to run in the ring.

  • andres

    mowgil thanks for saying what i said but for smart ppl

    a rassler wold give him problemsjust not tito he sucks madcow dick

  • Hammer

    Hit and dont get hit. Whats wrong with that?? The guy has skills and uses them to his advantage. Not everyone is a banger… It may not be the most exciting, but you have to appreciate his skills.

  • Aquarela

    Any champion who refuses to fight a challenger, ANY WORTHY CHALLENGER is a paper champ and should be quickly stripped.

    Looks like these guys have softened up a lot with the growth of interest and popularity in the sport or the mask is simply falling away. Since when did people start picking and choosing who they will and will not fight? The champ fights the top contenders, the best fighters, period. Shameful psuedo journalism or “blogging” that would actually find away to condone or encourage such cowardly behaviour.