I'd like to hear some input / predictions on the Machida vs. Evans fight. I'll go first.
Evans continues to impress me with his striking improvements and his wrestling has always been there. I had been underestimating him in the past but now I think he is one of the top dogs in the LHW division. Funny how a bunch of victories will do that!
Anyway, I was really looking forward to Evans / Jackson (seems they don't care for each other) but this fight will show whether or not I am seeing what I think I am.
What I think I'm seeing is the next dominant fighter in LHW in Machida. I have been following Thiago Silva closely over the last couple of years because I like his style (killer) and his skills (very good). Machida also has been very interesting although previously a bit boring.
Machida physically dominated Silva which was something I did not see coming. Remember, Silva pretty much man-handled Houston Alexander! At the end of the Machida / Silva fight it looked like Machida simply threw Silva to the ground without even using a trip! Maybe I missed it but it looked like he just threw him down.
Machida has also made everyone he has fought look bad. So far, no one has even given him a legitimate challenge (as far as I know). He's awkward with his strikes, especially his kicks which are quick, accurate and powerful. They keep calling him a karate fighter but I don't think that describes him very well. He's very well-rounded and getting him to the ground so far has been tough for anyone to do. I would like to see how he handles being on the ground and Rashad might just be able to get it there.
So, my prediction is Machida by knockout and subsequently dominating the division for a long time. Everyone else is fighting for second. Here's how I look at the probable winner of a fight: if the fighters were to fight 10 times, who would win the majority of them. That's my system and it has worked extremely well for several years so far.
I know anything can happen (Serra / St. Pierre?) but a flash knockout or Machida becoming complacent is what I believe it will take to beat him.
So let's hear it guys and ladies. Tell me what you think!