• Lyoto Machida

    The evolutionary wheels of MMA are turning faster than ever. I never thought I’d see the day where karate style stand up would be the main weapon to win the light heavyweight UFC title. I just re watched the fight at mmascraps and paused it at the crucial moments before the beat down begun in earnest and the punch that first put Rashad onto one knee for a split second was an old school left reverse punch. From the there Lyoto follows with a right upper cut and then a left hook to drop Evans again. But in the lead up to this, when Rashad finally loses patience in the middle of the second round and started to look to land punches and initiate with head movement Lyoto beats him to the punch with a left reverse punch that was absolutely exquisitely timed, dropping Evans to one knee. What a game plan. He plays from the outside with perfect distance control, using kicks, sweeps and feints, drawing his opponents into range and then launching accurate strikes with precisley the correct timing, forestalling essentially, then finishing with power shots. Amazing. I thought my years of karate training were wasted. Perhaps not, there is still hope. The prevailing wisdom now after this fight seems to be to aim to put Lyoto on his back and work from there; but I would like to see even a strong wrestler get to a range where he can tackle Machida to the mat without eating some shots on the way in or risk being exposed with angular footwork. Against Tito at least, Machida look very heavy in hips and not easy to take down. Karate timing, distancing and footwork, who would have thought? Long live the dragon.