For a long time fighters tried in vain to solve the Lyoto Machida dilemna. Now it is Machida's turn to try and solve his own bigger picture - 205-pound wunderkind Jon Jones. This fight is a new prime example of how quickly a fighter's stock can soar or sour from the eyes of pundits and also fans (Jones' occupation doing the soaring along with Machida's doing the souring, relatively speaking of training course). It is educational that will Machida enters this contest like a heavy underdog. Only two years back the real-life Karate Child was UFC champ in addition to unbeaten. People were raving regarding "The Machida Era" - as well as I didn't object. Only the experts which had christened Machida have been quickly dispelled. After a 16-0 start off, the fight game's many perplexing riddle dropped a couple of his past 3 bouts (to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson).

So you don't should spend much time scratching your mind about why Machida gets into the UFC 140 title matchup to be a sizable underdog (even though not nearly as huge an underdog as He Serra was four years ago when he knocked out there Georges St-Pierre and gained the welterweight world subject). Jones - already crowned 2011 Fighter of the Year at the Entire world MMA Awards - now represents an aura of untouchability and unstoppability that will Machida himself exuded not long ago. Jones is 14-1, though that single zit is incredibly misleading (their lone loss came by means of disqualification for illegal elbows within a bout that saw Jones manhandling Shiny Hamill. It was a beatdown consequently memorable it had the energy to send shudders as a result of future opponents, making them think twice about signing through to fight Jon Jones).

Jones, a New York indigenous, has never come all-around losing a fight and has never encountered even a whole lot as a three-second slice of any fight that didn't feature him essentially toying along with his prey. In one regard, Jones' domination reminds us of Mike Tyson before his 21st birthday: The only suspense that arises within a Jon Jones fight involves how long the other guy can easily survive. "Who wants it a lot more? " and "Who's going to win? " are NOT questions you asked yourself while watching Tyson throughout his short-lived prime. And they are not questions you ask yourself during a Jon Jones fight.

And yet, mindful of the landmines that lurk whenever you underestimate an opponent, Jones has called Machida his most dangerous foe as of yet. I don't think it's lip-service; I think the samsung champ is sincere - in addition to he's absolutely right. An online poll was recently conducted which asked visitors, "How long will Jon Jones reign as champ?" The results surprised me. 31% said at least another year. 15% said at least three more years. 11% said at least five more years.

43% of voters harvested Machida to dethrone Jones that Saturday in Toronto.

Now, the polls are not necessarily scientifically conducted here, meaning one person using a computer could vote 10 times whenever they wanted to (not the case with a scientific poll). And I suspect the raging nationalism and faithfulness of Brazilian fans is usually pushing the needle lots. But perhaps fans can also be acknowledging that Machida is among the only man in the 205-pound division who are able to match Jones' unorthodox tendencies along with his own equally unorthodox traits. Unorthodox usually means unpredictable, and unpredictable means the prospect of "anything can happen" capture way up. Make no mistake, these are the 2 kings of unorthodox inside UFC.

An esteemed colleague connected with mine, Jon Anik, also conducted an informal survey among his 25, 000 or so supporters on Twitter. Anik posed the dilemma: Who is the 205er finest equipped to beat Jon Jones?

The responses: Rashad Evans (34%); Lyoto Machida (24%); Dan Henderson (20%); Phil Davis (16%), etc.

And hey, just for some added ammunition in Lyoto's favor, Machida and Jones were pitted against each other on the UFC Undisputed 3 game. The results: Jones triumphed 18 situations, Machida won 7. But, as Chael Sonnen might say, "we're going to find out" who the higher quality man is. Titles aren't won or defended in writing, or by reporter dialogues, or online fan articles, or polls, or video games. Lest we forget, Rashad Evans is one heck of an fighter. 21 wins. And the only male to beat Rashad Evans is usually .. Lyoto Machida. So Machida, a former UFC champ, has been here previous to. He knows what it feels as though to hold the UFC light-weight heavyweight title, which, if ever there was a hot potato amongst UFC belts, the 205-pound belt could it be.

I'm very much looking towards this fight. And it wouldn't surprise me to view Machida pull the upset. But my guess is how the challenger must come to the Octagon with a handful of new surprises, something nobody has previously seen before (similar to the front kick which TKO'd Randy Couture within his last fight, knocking out a front tooth). It will take some new tricks to get over the superior athleticism involving Jones and his enormous reach advantage (Jones' wingspan is a whopping 84. 5 inches versus 74" intended for Lyoto. And that reach advantage is actually key for Jones because doing so allows him to be in range to hit and kick - without having to be in range to possibly be hit and kicked by the other guy).


Both of these men, both victims of serious accidents involving autos, are lucky to possibly be alive, let alone sharing the co-main event at UFC one hundred and forty. I've got to say that i have seen many super-tough guys in this particular sport - Wanderlei Silva, Frankie Edgar, Donald Cerrone and BJ Penn jump in your thoughts - but Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira could be the pinnacle of toughness. He is the Rare metal Standard, the Bushido code personified. I've never seen a man time and again endure more pain in addition to suffering and exhaustion within the pursuit of victory than the 35-year-old Brazilian. A black belt with judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Big Nog is unquestionably one of the great heavyweights in background, but there are lingering questions about whether all of those wars have taken his or her toll. His chin is granite don't, as Cain Velasquez shown, as Frank Mir proven during his first go-round with Nogueira several years ago.

I must confess, I never saw Mir defeating Nogueira. I had presumed it turned out a bad stylistic matchup with regard to him, presumed that if that they fought 10 times, Big Nog might win all 10 of 'em. In my mind . the greater standup: Big Nog. The better ground game: Big Nog. Who wants it more: Big Nog. So I stood into the MGM Grand Garden Industry that night literally shocked as Mir abused Major Nog, put on a boxing center and floored Nogueira 3 x. I ran into Mir a little while later and told your pet to his face i was stunned that he not only beat Big Nog, but did it in such convincing fashion.

"No disrespect, I like you Honest, but I didn't notice you winning. "

Mir was 260 fat; I weigh 146 on the good day. This was actually my first ever ending up in Mir (before either folks would start training B razil jiu-jitsu under renowned dark belt Robert Drysdale). So I'm standing right now there alone talking with Mir and being probably extra candid than I should (an unsatisfactory habit of mine).

"Before this fight My spouse and i questioned your heart, I questioned your cardiovascular, I questioned how a lot you wanted it, " I told him or her. "I thought you were a bit lazy in the fitness center. Very skilled and talented, but a little care-free as fighters go. "

I had thought of Mir as many had, particularly after the 2004 street motorcycle accident that broke his femur and threatened his or her career. And I told him or her what I thought, and congratulated him to make a complete and complete liar out of me and many others. The way Mir answered spoke volumes about him or her. He just looked me from the eye, let me have my own say, and even shared a number of the techniques such as that uppercut/jab hybrid that came with a weird angle and stored rocking Big Nog. He was a gentleman the whole time, never raising his words, never becoming defensive. I've spoken with Frank Mir more often than not since then, not always in contract on issues, and I've been amazed by how thick-skinned he is to the criticisms that fighter must endure. Mir is a really confident man, a nimble heavyweight who thinks as being a lightweight, who can pull off moves most heavyweights wouldn't care try. And I must claim, the big guy has come quite a distance in the gym and it shows because now he can fight three rounds tough. I learned my lesson not to count him out. In addition to as being a wordsmith, Mir is a specialist, and if his wrestling is constantly on the improve, as it has, the 32-year-old BJJ black belt will probably really be able and keep opponents guessing.

I was one from the people who thought Mir's win over Nogueira had been a fluke, but I don't think so much more. Mir is just of which good. Big Nog has only fought three times in the past three years, but says he can feel rejuvenated after three procedures. The win over Brendan Schaub was a type of turn-back-the-clock moments for Nog and he's going to have revenge on their mind Saturday in Toronto. He thinks it was a staph infection that will weakened him against Mir. That's what makes this rematch so intriguing. Fluke or Trend? We'll find out Sunday.

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