Posts Tagged ‘Lyoto’

What promised to be a night of pure entertainment, showcasing the world’s best MMA fighters at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, Michigan, certainly fulfilled its expectations.  BJ Penn’s emphatic first round KO to seal the trilogy victory over long time adversary and bitter rival Matt Hughes along with the superb grappling battle between Joe Lauzon and Australian top contender George Sotiropoulos that earned them each $80,000 for “Fight of the Night” were the stand-out highlights of an event that unfortunately finished the way in which it began….dubiously.

Tyson Griffin’s split decision loss to Nik Lentz in the opening fight of the evening’s card came as a shock to all in attendance as Griffin seemingly dominated affairs inside the Octagon. No one’s criticism of the verdict more damning than that of UFC Head-Honcho Dana White who went as far as to say Tyson Griffin “got fucked tonight, big time”, in the post fight press conference immediately following the event.

If this decision once again brought to light the irregularities and inconsistencies in the methods of fight-scoring in the UFC then the outcome of the main event of the evening will have die hard fans demanding an overhaul of the current system in usage.

In the headline fight, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida was looking to bounce back from surrendering the Light Heavyweight crown to now champion, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in May of this year, but standing in the Brazilian’s way was fellow top contender, and newly rejuvenated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson looking for his 5th win in six fights and eager to propel himself to the summit of the stacked division at 205 lbs.

After a cagey opening couple of rounds that could have gone either way, in truth, the fight was finely poised and hanging in the balance as the two former champions touched gloves to commence the third, and final round. Machida undoubtedly finishing the stronger of the pair as he gained multiple take downs and landed a number of well placed punches and kicks with a mid-round flurry that dazed the former PRIDE champion and left him clinging to survival as the clock counted down to bring the closely contested bout to its conclusion.

Despite potentially taking the first two rounds, Rampage cut the figure of a beaten man as he raised Lyoto’s arm aloft, seemingly resigned to defeat as they awaited the judges’ decision with bated breath. The split decision result announced in Jackson’s favour was met with a large chorus of jeers from the Detroit crowd who, believing as Rampage did, expected the Brazilian Karate master to be awarded the victory and thus improve his record to 17-1. .

With the American exclaiming ““Machida whupped my ass tonight” it was clear that he was as surprised as anyone with the verdict and immediately offered the chance of a rematch to the downcast “Dragon” who has now lost his last two inside the cage. Yet many fans who witnessed Machida’s five round victory over Mauricio Rua in October of last year will feel that it is nothing more than just desserts for the elusive counter-striker who miraculously gained the favour of the judging panel despite obviously falling short in at least three of the bouts five rounds against his fellow Brazilian

Although dubious, tonight’s decision victory for Quinton Jackson was a much fairer reflection of the fight than the result that allowed “The Dragon” to retain his world title. The powers that be in the UFC believed, and rightfully so, that Rua had been cheated and immediately scheduled the rematch in which justice was done and Shogun ensured the judges had no say when it came to the out come this time around, knocking Machida out in devastating fashion.

Immediately following the questionable decision of last night’s main event, the proposed rematch offered by Rampage was irrevocably quashed by Dana White who announced that there would be no rematch. He believes the judges made the correct decision and he scored the fight 29-28 for Rampage himself, stating these two are top of the food chain in the 205 lb division, insinuating that Quinton Jackson may now be in line for a title shot.

With many loyal UFC followers of the opinion that Machida was screwed out of the victory in Michigan last night, Jackson may find himself labelled the pariah for achieving the decision, and I for one, certainly hope this doesn’t happen. Rampage was class personified in the octagon following the result, and even despite the dubious nature of his victory he has now emerged victorious in five of his last six bouts in the UFC.

Make no mistake about it, Rampage is an MMA legend who has taken the scalps of fellow greats Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. He nows adds Machida to his bulging cv and it will be difficult to deny him a shot at Shogun’s title in a throw back to the days of PRIDE were both made their impressive names in destructive fashion.

On the flip side of that coin lies last night’s loser, Lyoto Machida. The last twelve months has seen a cataclysmic fall from grace for the former champion who now must go back to the drawing board and plot his next course of action. In a heavily populated division it is a short, slippery slope down the pecking order.

This ultimately could be the “Dragon’s” fate as his most likely opponent following this defeat will be the victor of the impending clash between emerging superstars Jon “Bones” Jones and Ryan “Darth” Bader. Two phenomenal young fighters ready to make their impact on the ufc radar, either of which would prove a very tricky proposition for Lyoto Machida.

Whoever may be next for these fighters remains to be seen, but last night’s results show once again that deficiencies are evident in the scoring systems and fights don’t always end the way they should. Naturally, there is an easy solution to be found for this problem and the answer lies in the hands and feet of the fighters themselves. …..