Everybody expected another long battle but instead it ended before it even began. Everybody was shocked, the whole bar was silent for a good minute. As a huge Machida fan, I believed he won the first fight, even though it was a very very close. I was felling pretty good about Machida up until the fight. When I saw Lyoto it almost felt like something was missing. Was it the mystery of Karate or swagger, or both? Lyoto looked different to say the least, looking worried instead of his usual calm collected self. He still had problem dealing with the leg kicks but he was doing way better than the first fight. He switched stances. He changed his game plan and took it to the ground. Even though he wasn't doing much damage, but it was heading to the right direction. Then it happened.
Did Lyoto get caught with something that he never expected? It was a shot similar to Serra's shot that rocked GSP. Anyone would be rocked when you are hit there. Losing his footing didn't help either. I might sound biased but I honestly think the real Lyoto didn't show up. As some other posters have stated before, maybe the pressure of actually finishing Shogun got to him, maybe he went out of his comfort zone too much. It was very hard for me to see Lyoto out cold. These are the question immediately popped up:
Would Lyoto ever be the same fighter again?
Some fighters just never come back from devastating knockouts, ie Cro Cop, Big Nog, Chuck. Apart from the obvious physical damage, the psychological damage is something that the fighter would have to deal with. Would he become gun shy and tentative like Cro Cop?
Does Lyoto have a weak chin?
Even though I believe getting tagged right behind the ear would put anybody out at this level, I don't believe Lyoto has a tough chin. Not that I'm saying he chinny, but Lyoto has always employed such an elusive style that we seldom see him getting hit. We have no way to know now but I guess we'll find out in the future. I sometimes wonder the same thing about Anderson as well because we so seldomly see him getting tagged clean.
Would Lyoto contend for the title again, especially if Shogun is still the champ?
I hope so but thing can change. With such a stacked division, who knows what could happen? After all we have had so many different champs in the division in the last few years. I can see Lyoto fighting for the title again but would UFC do it? I'm not very optimistic. Especially many out there think of their fights as 2-0 instead of 1-1.
and finally ....
Would UFC repay the fans by putting Shogun and Anderson Silva in a dream match?
I hope they do but that would create some problems down the road potentially for matchmaking. What if Anderson becomes the champ and Lyoto is the number 1contender? It is very real possibility and we'll have another AKA situation all over again.
I really hope Lyoto can bounce back. I really like him as a fighter and how he represents the traditional values. And yeah go Canucks!