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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

January, 2010

Hindsight’s a Bitch: Things We Knew For Sure (Until We Didn’t) in 2009

At the beginning of every year there are always nuggets of conventional wisdom that seem absolutely unassailable in January and are laughable by December. This has always been the case, and not just in the world of MMA. For instance, in January of 1941 Pearl Harbor was a nice, calm, wonderfully exotic place for U.S. servicemen to be stationed. By December it was fodder for a horrible Michael Bay movie. Just goes to show that we never know as much as we think we do, though it doesn’t stop us from making definitive statements that will later seem totally ridiculous. Here now are some of the MMA truths that became lies in 2009…

Lyoto Machida is the most boring fighter in the UFC
Lyoto Machida Rashad Evans
At the start of 2009 Machida had finished just two of his last seven fights (one of them a TKO due to exhaustion), and had cemented his reputation as the fighter who was too "elusive" to be interesting. The UFC seemed intent on keeping him away from a title shot, but inked him for a showdown of undefeated Brazilians against Thiago Silva at UFC 94. That’s when "The Dragon" showed his fangs or claws or whatever it is that dragons have, and after knocking out Rashad Evans to claim the light heavyweight title in similarly ferocious fashion a few months later, we were forced to abandon our belief that Machida would forever be MMA’s version of Ambien. Too bad that our revised position didn’t fare much better…

Lyoto Machida is damn near unbeatable
Shogun Rua Lyoto Machida UFC 104
The “Machida Era” was supposed to be a reign as dominant and prolific as that of middleweight champ Anderson Silva, which left many of us scratching our heads when “Shogun” Rua got the nod as his first challenger. Rua was 2-1 in the UFC at that point and he hadn’t beaten anyone even near their prime since leaving Pride. Despite coming in as a heavy underdog, Rua gave Machida all he could handle for five rounds and seemed to be on his way to a decision victory before the judges decided to discount leg kicks altogether. Machida survived with the belt, but not with his aura of invincibility.

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