Now, don't get me wrong- Lyoto Machida is a tremendous fighter. I enjoy his style thoroughly, and have since the 1'st time I saw him fight (against Kaz, which prompted me to research him/ watch his highlights). I do think Shogun beat Lyoto, but it was a competitive bout. However, some words from Joe Rogan turned out to be strangely prophetic- he regularly said that the elite strikers of LHW would be the biggest tests for Machida.
Think about Machida's hardest fights- obviously the fight w/ Rua, but thinking back- what were Lyoto's toughest fights? The BJ and Greco fights; BJ was able to back Lyoto up into the corner several times and throw combos, and landed some decent shots throughout. Greco (a world class kickboxer, with k-1 wins over guys like Sefo, Hoost, Bernardo, and Leko) gave Machida hell, and in a similar way to Shogun- he worked leg kicks in the standup, and knees to the legs in the clinch when he had Lyoto in the corner (he did, however, get worked on the ground).
Now, that's not to say that Lyoto can't beat good strikers, because that's not true. Franklin, Thiago, Soko, and Rashad are all dangerous in the striking game in their own right; however, Thiago has poor defense and is limited to brawling for the most part, Rashad is limited to his boxing and power shots, Soko throws singular power shots/ has a poor gas tank, and Franklin (while a good offensive striker) also is very hittable and can be overwhelmed (see: Andy 1 & 2, see also: Belfort). But a well rounded striker, who presents a diverse arsenal of good offensive and defensive standup techniques is the type of fighter who can beat Machida.
Obviously, Rua was able to utilize the leg kicks because of Lyoto's karate stance, but he also displayed calm under fire in the pocket during Machida's flurries, and fired back several times; he also used several takedown attempts to transition to his clinch tactics, where he tenderized Lyoto's legs with short knees. Whether Machida will be able to beat Rua in the rematch will be interesting to see, but for the most part Shogun just has to improve upon what he did in the first match (IE preventing Lyoto from using knees to the body from the Thai Plum, trying more actively to finish, finishing takedowns, etc).
The only other fighters that I think could potentially beat Machida are Banha Cane, Page, and maybe Vera or Lil Nog (who has said he would fight Lyoto if the need arose).
Thoughts? Comments? Who takes the rematch between Lyoto and Shogun?