By Nathan Smith
Earlier in the week Dana White stated that “whoever wins the most impressively” from the contests involving Mauricio “Shogun” Rua VS Brandon Vera and Lyoto Machida VS Ryan Bader would be deemed the #1 contender for the LHW title. After watching the events unfold the UFC’s decision remained even more of a cluster f*ck due to a devestating Machida KO and a hard-fought TKO victory by Shogun. Even before Dana White stepped to the podium for the post-fight press conference, he announced LIVE just prior to the conclusion of the UFC on FOX 4 festivities telecast, that Lyoto Machida held the golden ticket.
By the time DW made his way to the dias for the post-fight press conference, the announcement had already spread across the MMA universe but he did say – during the media frenzy – that Machida “wants it bad.” The Dragon earned a convincing KO victory against a very tough competitor. Ryan Bader’s evening ended when he charged forward and ran directly into a perfectly-timed and placed right hand counter by Machida. Good night Irene.
Shogun, on the other hand, had a much more difficult task as (we can only surmise) the pink-slip-motivated Brandon Vera landed repeatedly with sharp elbows early on during their contest. A back and forth battle ensued between the men and it wasn’t until the closing stages of the 4th round that Shogun was able to finalize the main event with the TKO stoppage after Vera was overwhelmed by fatigue and punishment.
Judging a main event UFC fight with title implications is difficult enough (*unless you are Cecil Peoples – then you can seemingly do Sodoku throughout the scrap then fill in a 10-9 wherever you eenie-meenie-minie-moe feel like it on the official scorecard*). Objectively judging a UFC battle that is “most impressive” is a completely different thing. Which is more impressive?
Decking a young buck contender full of piss and vinegar or stopping a veteran that has his career, income and family’s wellbeing on the line?
Well, DW and the UFC went with the former and Lyoto Machida will be the opponent for the winner of Jon Jones VS Dan Henderson. So there you have it. Machida is next in line and another CP writer is proven prophetic. The Dragon was asked who he would prefer to face, Bones or Hendo, to which he replied “It doesn’t matter.” The verbose Machida was also asked what he plans to do if he faces Jones again. His response was typical. “I have to improve my wresting.” Considering Machida was choked out (go get youself some fans) COLD while standing, we can only hope the rematch is more competitive – unless, of course, Jon Jones runs his Bentley into the Dan Henderson tree.
We have months to speculate but who you got on both Potato Nation?
*Cecil Peoples is a respected and licensed combat sports judge and the bullshit within this article is simply personal opinion*