Closer than they’ll be during the fight.
In a recent interview with Tatame.com (the Brazilian MMA equivalent of The New York Post – but good), Thiago Silva answers ‘how he expects the combat to roll’ during his upcoming fight with Bore-oto Machida:
I look at the facts. Lyoto is a guy that has the same record that I do, 13 fights, but I think he has eight victories by decision. He doesn’t fall for the combat and, if he does, I’ll thank God. I believe he will run away the entire fight and I’m prepared for this. My head is good and he’ll not let me nervous. If he runs, I’ll run after him.
If by “run after him” he means “fail”, then, yes he will. Running is how Machida beats everyone. It’s as obvious as a fart in a crowded bank line. Thiago Silva knows it. He is so sure of Lyoto Machida’s game plan of snore-worthy back-peddling that he will give his thanks to God, the omnipotent entity of the entire universe responsible for having created all mankind / plantkind / monkeykind, for anything otherwise happening.
He won’t end up doing that though. Chasing after Lyoto only results in a big load of nothing. Only one person has “caught” Machida, and that was David Heath. The result was him getting hit with three or four knees in the clinch and becoming the centerpiece (onlypiece?) of Lyoto’s highlight reel. What if you can start unloading on him? It’s not like he has a weak chin.
Machida is like a pair of magnets with the same polarity: perpetually at distance (but not as fun as the magnets.) Nobody wants to see any point-fighting garbage because it sucks; that’s why the WCL is canceled. Yes, Machida has somehow managed to make violence boring. In a sport with the singular goal of synthesizing time tested fighting styles to physically harm your opponent into a state of defenselessness or otherwise concede defeat, Lyoto Machida has induced apathy to all but a majority its most vocal marks.
I have the utmost respect for Jordan Breen as a journalist and prognosticator, I devote four hours a week to the man and hang on his every word, but I can’t agree with him on the Machida subject. I WON’T agree with him. Mr. Breen himself consistently points out that he’s interested in who will “solve” him. Yes Machida is a puzzle, but so what? The Rubik’s Cube is too but I’m not going to watch someone play with one for fifteen minutes, especially not twenty-five either.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that there are people like Mr. Breen who legitimately take appreciation in the fine arts of Machida’s style of fighting and that’s fine. But for every one of those, there are three who defend him out of some inner desire to be an elitist in a sport where just being a fan five years ago gives you credibility with todays. Lyoto Machida is an avenue for remorseful Johnny Come-latelys to say they’re better than the just average TUF newb by claiming they can comprehend what the average fan doesn’t.
MMA fans: Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and what you believe. I’m going to be torn to shreds by everyone for this article, but I don’t care. Writing about a sport with conflict as its entire point, I’ll be sorry to see everyone who gets upset over anything I’ve said. How dare someone have a differing opinion than yours and express it, huh? I for one will speak for all those Machida-haters that have been oppressed, and I know there are many. You like Machida? No problems as long as you don’t berate and look down at those who don’t. I like Machida fans, they’ll be the ones to wake me up when he does something cool or loses.
If you’re shocked anyone thinks Machida is “running” when he fights, keep this this in mind while putting your monocle back in: his next opponent just said he will need divine intervention to make him do anything else.