Lyoto Machida defends his Lightheavy weight title for the first time. The guy facing him across the cage is Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Machida has earned his spot at the top of the division by beating every single person that was put in front of him. Shogun, coming off of an impressive knock out of Chuck Liddell, will be put to the test to see if Shogun of 2005 is back.
There’s no secret between how these two fight. Machida is very elusive with his movement but very accurate with this strikes. His Karate background gives his style a unique and unorthodox fight game. His style gets many of his opponents frustrated which leads to mistakes where Machida can capitalize. Shogun is very dynamic and mixes his punches and kicks throughout the fight and his ground game is just as dangerous. In this fight Shogun will have the odds against him. His aggressive style will play right into Machida’s game. The only way for Shogun to control the fight is to get the Champ to the ground and utilized some vicious ground and pound. Another option is to corner Machida or pin him against the cage and work some dirty boxing, but that’s easier said than done . Machida will do what he does best and that’s to out-striking his opponent while avoiding getting hit. This fight will be exciting and no matter what happens it’s a win-win for Brazil.
Another bout on this card that I’m excited about is the Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell. When comparing fight records of Rothwell’s Velasquez is a rookie making his mark. The big equalizer for Velasquez is that he has a solid wrestling background that brings along a fierce competitive attitude, great work ethic, excellent cardio, and ability to endure punishment. But I don’t thing it will be enough to edge out the 30+ fight experience of Ben Rothwell. Not only does he has 30 more fights than Cain he weighs at the end of the weight limit of the Heavyweight division. Size and experience matters. If Cain can take big Ben to the ground and control him he might have a chance. Expect to see Rothwell utilize the brawl and sprawl tactic to score points and keeping himself from being on his back. As much as I like Cain, Ben’s wealth of experience and size gives him big advantage that Cain won’t be able to overcome.
Lyoto Machida beats Maruicio Rua
Ben Rothwell beats Cain Velasquez
Spencer Fisher beats Joe Stevenson
Anthony Johnson beats Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Josh Neer beats Gleison Tibau
Ryan Bader beats Eric Schafer
Antoni Hardonk beats Pat Berry
Chael Sonnen beats Yushin Okami
Rob Kimmons beats Jorge Rivera
Razak Al-Hassan beats Kyle Kingsbury
Chase Gormley beats Stephan Struve