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UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Anders - Feb 3


wandshogun09
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Who wins and how?   

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Saturday 3rd February. Belem, Brazil. 

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FOX SPORTS 1 MAIN CARD
Lyoto Machida vs Eryk Anders

Valentina Shevchenko vs Priscila Cachoeira 

Michel Prazeres vs Desmond Green

Timothy Johnson vs Marcelo Golm

Thiago Santos vs Anthony Smith

Marlon Vera vs Douglas Silva De Andrade

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Tim Means vs Sergio Moraes 

Alan Patrick vs Damir Hadzovic 

Maia Stevenson vs Polyana Viana

Iuri Alcantara vs Joe Soto

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Joseph Morales

 

Not a bad little Fight Night there.

 

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Machida vs Anders is a funny one. Machida's fall from grace has been pretty drastic. When he burst through the UFC doors back in 2007 he had this aura about him. He was unbeaten and already held a KO win over Rich Franklin before he ever set foot in the Octagon. Then he went 7-0 in his first 7 UFC fights, winning the title from Rashad Evans and barely getting hit along the way, much less come close to losing rounds. He ran into Shogun in 2009 and, over a two fight series, the puzzle got solved. Shogun took his title and his undefeated '0'. Since then he's gone through patches of good form mixed with losses. Now over a decade into his UFC career, he's 39 years old, hasn't won a fight in over 3 years just returned from a USADA suspension only to get KO'd in the first round by Derek Brunson. Fans just getting into the UFC must wonder what the fuss was about but there was a time when Machida really seemed untouchable. Opponents couldn't hit him let alone beat him. How the mighty fall.

In Eryk Anders he's facing a younger, fresher hungry heavy hitter. Anders is 10-0 with 7 finishes. He's a powerful and aggressive guy with a college football background, built like a tank. He's looked good from what I've seen of him. He's yet to face anyone of Machida's quality though. His best win to date is a first round KO of Rafael Natal. So regardless of Machida's age and decline, this is a significant step up for Anders. It's also his first UFC main event, and it's in Machida's backyard. Anders has done 5 rounds as recently as last June though, for a promotion called LFA. Interesting fight. If Machida loses this one, it's hard to see a way back. 

 

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Dodson vs Munhoz could be good. Dodson can be a frustrating watch though. He's a rare case of a flyweight with KO power, and he's fast as fuck, but he always seems to go to close decisions and rarely pulls the trigger these days. Doesn't help matters that I can't stand him either. Irritating little twatbag. He's lost 3 of his last 5, is coming off a loss to Marlon Moraes and is already 0-2 to the champ Mighty Mouse. He's floundering really and offers nothing to the division other than the risk of eliminating fresh contenders. All good reasons to root for Munhoz. I quite like Munhoz anyway, in fairness. Likeable enough guy, 15-2 record and is riding a 4 fight winning streak with 3 of those wins via guillotine choke. He subbed Rob Font in the first round in his last outing in October. Probably his most impressive win yet for me. Love to see him add Dodson to his guillotine list. 

 

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Shevchenko vs Cachoeira I'm into purely on the strength of me being a big fan of Shevchenko. And this is her flyweight debut. She's dropping down from 135 after coming up short against Amanda Nunes in their title fight in September. It was a fairly close fight and she'd looked great in her previous fights beating Holly Holm and Juliana Pena. I can see her being a beast at 125 though. Really intrigued to see how she looks. The division is thin at the moment but with her extensive striking background and an underrated grappling game, I think flyweight is hers for the taking. She's got to get past Priscila Cachoeira first though. Cachoeira is unbeaten at 8-0. I don't know much about her but read some bits and pieces. She has a fascinating backstory of overcoming sexual abuse and crack addiction and MMA helped her get her life on track. It's a big ask getting Valentina Shevchenko as your UFC debut opponent but she must be a tough cookie to go from where she was to where she is. 

 

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Thiago Santos vs Anthony Smith is UFC Belem's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. Didn't even know this was happening but I love this matchmaking. These two have been killing it on the undercards for a while now, to little fanfare for whatever reason. Santos has been one of the fighters I've been bigging up on here for a long time. He's had a few losses but he's a beast. He's put together 3 wins by TKO in a row now and also has a first round stoppage over Nate Marquardt and delivered one of the most brutal headkick knockouts you'll ever see against Steve Bosse...

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He's scary.

Anthony Smith is also coming off 3 TKO victories himself. His nickname 'Lionheart' is very fitting if you look at his last 2 fights. He took a shitload of punishment before rallying back to third round stoppages over Andrew Sanchez in April and Hector Lombard in September. 

You just can't go wrong with these two. Two granite hard bastards colliding, both can dish it out, both can take it, both have momentum. 

 

What else? 

 

Prazeres vs Green might be a sleeper. Both guys are under the radar but they both have solid records with wins over good fighters. Prazeres is 23-2 with wins over Josh Burkman, Gilbert Burns and Mairbek Taisumov. He's won his last 2 fights in a row via north-south choke which is pretty crazy considering how rarely that move is pulled off. Green is 20-6 with a win over Josh Emmett and also holds a 46 second KO over Miguel Torres years ago. 

 

Means vs Moraes is a nice little styles clash. Means is one of those tough, scrappy all-rounders kind of in the mould of a Carlos Condit. Moraes is almost a pure BJJ guy but he's not shy about trading leather either. Got a feeling Means is going to shine here. 

 

Patrick vs Hadzovic is another under the radar fight between two good lesser known undercarders. Patrick is 14-1 and coming off decisions over Stevie Ray and Damien Brown. Hadzovic is 11-3, known as 'The Bosnian Bomber' and he KO'd Marcin Held with a big knee last May on the Stockholm show. 

 

Vera vs De Andrade could be fun. Marlon Vera is pretty exciting to watch. Probably best known for stopping Brad Pickett in Pickett's swansong but he also took John Lineker the distance in a good scrap in October. De Andrade is 24-2-1 with 20 finishes. So yeah, he doesn't fuck about. Hasn't beat anyone of note and got battered by Rob Font last time out but he's one of those 'go for broke' types who's usually entertaining to watch. 

 

So a thin card on the face of it. But dig a little bit deeper and these are actually some good fights. Can Machida resurrect his career from the ashes or does new breed Anders take over? Can Valentina Shevchenko make a fresh start and put her stamp on the flyweight division? And then the surefire slobberknocker of Santos vs Smith. I like it.

Edited by wandshogun09
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Christ. Must be them Brazilian BBQs. 

This really feels like a last chance thing for Machida for me. Not that they'll sack him if he loses or anything but if he loses this then it doesn't look good at all. The Brunson loss you could partly put down to him being rusty coming off that suspension. He's all out of excuses here though. And Anders is no easy fight. Unbeaten and a hitter. He could turn out to be a bit of a darkhorse. 

If Machida loses this fight I'd book Machida vs Rashad 2 where the loser, and the winner, must retire. And BJ Penn just for the sake of it. 

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I always had a soft spot for Machida. When I first got into MMA, he was a bit of legend on the underground. His Sherdog profile listed wins over Penn, Franklin and Bonnar; all of whom were big stars in the UFC at the time. Yet, he was one of the few fighters to have not fought in Pride or UFC. It was something of a treat he made his debut in the United States in mid-2006 for the WFA promotion. For the first time, he was fighting in a promotion that fans had access to. His fight with Vernon White was pretty dull though. I don't remember much about his first three fights in the UFC either; all of which came against pretty tame opponents, and went to the cards. 

The Soko fight was his real coming out party. This was before Soko had been exposed, and he was coming off knockout wins over Lil Nog and Arona; both of whom were top 5-7 at 205lbs at the time. Opinions were split on who was going to win. Yet, Machida handled Soko quite easily, and scored his first finish inside the UFC. He had the measure of Ortiz in his next fight; but did come close to being subbed at one point. The peak of his career was his next two fights; stunning stoppages over the undefeated Thiago Silva and Rashad to win the title. Some were calling him a more complete version of Cro Cop; different striking style, but just as efficient and trickier to figure out. His sumo background was thought to make him impossible to takedown.

Then came the Shogun fights. Whatever your opinion is on the first fight, it is clear that Shogun outperformed Machida over their two fight series. He was never again considered to be the sport's reference point again. He actually did well after those fights, even if he had lost his aura. He has losses on his record to Rampage and Phil Davis; but I felt the judges should have awarded him both of those fights. He stopped Couture and Bader; and edged out Hendo and Mousasi; all of which were impressive wins. He gave Jones some issues, before being stopped as well (Machida also entered that fight with a cold), and gave a decent account of himself against Weidman. The former loss demonstrated that Machida's time at Light Heavyweight was perhaps up; it was now a division for "small heavyweights", rather than big middleweights. 

The Rockhold and Romero fights signalled that his time as a serious contender was probably up. He's a stepping stone now, such is the run of play. I think he'll probably lose on Saturday. I hope he hangs the gloves up afterwards, or sticks to fighting fellow seniors. I'm not sure how or where I would rate him all-time, but for a while in the late 00's, he certainly created a lot of buzz. 

 

 

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That's the thing, his losses in recent years I don't think you can hold against him too much. Especially the ones to Rockhold and Romero. And like I said, the Brunson fight was after a 2 year suspension and Brunson was a dangerous return fight. But at some point you have to win. Regardless of how good the opposition is. This Anders fight, it's different. Now he's not coming off a layoff, and Anders isn't a proven top middleweight. It's a crossroads fight for Machida. If he loses this, that's 4 in a row and he's been stopped in his last 3 as well. Then you throw in that USADA suspension and it all casts a shadow on the end of his career. 

Its a shame. Like you, I always liked Machida. He wasn't one of my favourites and he was often hit and miss fight quality-wise. He had a fair few snoozers. People forget but even the Rashad fight was awful before the finishing sequence. People understandably only remember the Tekken finish but nothing happened for almost 2 rounds before Machida sprung into action. But in certain fights he was brilliant and he seems like a good guy. I loved the Weidman fight, he was outstanding in the Mousasi fight, he fought well against Jones and the finishes against Couture and Bader were awesome. 

Shogun fucking well won that first fight though :angry: 

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1 hour ago, wandshogun09 said:

Shogun fucking well won that first fight though :angry: 

Indeed he did. I was a bigger fan of Machida going into the fight, and like most, I fully expected him to win. The feeling was that Shogun would be the opponent, nothing more. Despite the stoppage win over Chuck earlier in the year, Shogun's stock was nowhere near what it had been 4 years earlier. The only question was would Machida put on a majestic demonstration and finish Shogun, or would it drag on for 5 rounds with Machida winning a lopsided decision.

As the fight wore on, I found it harder and harder to give rounds to Machida. I was a bit surprised when I went online afterwards and found a variety of scorecards. Sure a few rounds were close, but I didn't feel that Machida had done enough to win. He was a lucky boy that evening. Did the judges and some online pundits become a bit blinkered due to Machida's aura? Who knows? 

It was still a shock when Shogun stopped him in the 2nd fight though. The visual of Machida heading back to the locker room after being blitzed in a single round was one that stayed in my memory for a good while. It wasn't quite the same shock as when Werdum beat Fedor, or when Weidman clipped Anderson; but it was still something that I didn't expect to see. 

 

Edited by jimufctna24
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I was obviously rooting for Shogun going into the first fight but I was fully expecting him to lose. Just thought the timing was terrible for him and felt like he needed a couple more fights first. He'd came back after those knee injuries and about 18 months out and looked shite against Mark Coleman but got by due to Coleman being in even worse shape luckily. Then of course Dana saw him as ripe for his buddy Chuck Liddell to beat and it backfired spectacularly. Nothing against Chuck but I loved how that played out. Shogun looked way better than he did against Coleman but when he was announced as Machida's first title defence I didn't have a good feeling about it. Turned out it was one of Shogun's best career performances, despite going down as a loss. He fought almost the perfect fight that night, constant pressure, took away a lot of Machida's movement and advantages from the Karate stance with the leg kicks and sapped his gas tanked with the body kicks. I had Shogun winning 3-2, maybe even 4-1. I watched the fight back a few times and genuinely couldn't score more than 2 rounds for Machida. He just didn't win. You could see by his face before the decision was announced that even he thought he'd lost. The judges dropped a bollock. Cecil Peoples' Karate-bias and dismissing the ton of leg kicks, saying 'leg kicks don't win fights' was ludicrous. I'm sure another judge (I'm thinking Nelson Hamilton?) later admitted he ballsed up his scorecard somehow as well. Dana publicly said he thought Shogun won, MMA media were almost unanimous, if I recall, in scoring it for Shogun. The Compustrike thingys had it for Shogun. If you watch the fight it was competitive throughout. I'm not denying that or that Machida had his moments. But how watch that fight from bell to bell and score 3 rounds for him still baffles me. The crowd that night were proper glory hunting knobs as well. They were all on Machida's cock at the start, and booing Shogun. Then after a couple of rounds when it became clear Shogun had him figured out they all switched teams. 

I think the rematch could've been a bad night for Shogun if he hadn't put Machida away early though. I remember seeing Shogun looking a bit pudgy on fight week for that one and getting a bit worried but it all worked out. It came out after the fight though that his appendix had burst before the fight and he'd had to have surgery to remove it. That would explain why he didn't look in good shape on fight week. Then early in the fight he blew his knee out again. If the fight had gone past that first round, with his knee fucking up and him probably not having the conditioning to go the full 25 minutes, I think Machida would've got to him eventually. 

Needless to say I'm glad he landed that knockout shot when he did. He won the Pride GP but never got the chance to hold the actual Pride title because of his loyalty to Wandy. It'd have been a shame if he'd never won the UFC title as well. He was too good for that. That plus Machida fans were unbearable in that period between the first fight and the rematch. 'Machida won easy, watch it without the commentary and you'll  see', 'he'll walk through Shogun next time' etc. Ha. 

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Just read a claim the missed weight may have been because the fighter hotel had no hot water so people couldn't sweat it out in the bathroom.

And Dodson's reportedly not getting paid because he refused to do the fight after his opponent missed weight. Which is bullshit.

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I guess drinking your own piss loses some of it's magic when it doesn't fizz with everything in Barry Bonds' gear bag.

A few years ago I was a massive fan of Machida and his fighting style - the UFC 'Karate Kid' hype machine completely sold me on him, back in the day. Initially the MW move seemed to be exactly what he needed, winning three out of four, but it's been a bit of a disaster recently. One of wand's posts above perfectly sums up my current feelings on Machida and how it's went for him. Losing to the likes of Weidman, Romero and Rockhold is more of a sign Machida probably isn't an elite fighter anymore, rather than being completely done. However, getting crushed by Brunson was a proper set back - losing back-to-back against Romero and Rockhold is one thing, but Brunson?! Christ. Machida turns 40 this year and without his super piss it will be interesting to see where he sits in 2018. A 4th loss in a row while completely falling away in the USADA era, after a PED violation, isn't a good look for your legacy, even if the answer may be that you're just older than "fuck".

 

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Hmmm.

I wanted Machida to win, but I think he was very fortunate to get the nod there. I gave Machida rounds 1 and 5, and gave 2-4 to Anders. I didn't find the rounds that hard to score. That more or less evens out Machida's career though in terms of luck with the judges. He was lucky against Shogun and Anders, but unfortunate against Davis and Rampage. 

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Hmmmm, it'd be a good match for Bisping to go out on, but then it wouldn't have the respect-only, no-trash build-up he's looking for, would it? I doubt Bisping would be able to keep his mouth shut regarding Machida's suspension.

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