Lyoto Machida Opens as Heavy Favorite Against Rashad Evans

Lyoto Machida celebrates after his crane kick KO of Randy Couture at UFC 129. Photos from Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

News travels fast. Word just leaked that Lyoto Machida would step in for Phil Davis to fight Rashad Evans at UFC 133, and Bookmaker already has a line up for the fight:

Lyoto Machida -305
Rashad Evans +245

This was a line I expected given Evans' 15-month layoff and the result of their first fight at UFC 98. Machida dominated the first meeting, flummoxing Evans standing up before finishing him four minutes into the second round.

Evans should look more competitive in a rematch. He has let go of the notion that he's an elite striker, even if that has meant a "boring" and "safe" style of wrestling-first fighting.

That said, the style matchup still favors Machida. He is difficult to take, and hold, down, nullifying the strongest aspect of Evans' skill set.. The majority of the fight should take place standing, and Rashad hasn't shown enough improvement in his striking that suggest he can beat Machida in a kickboxing bout.

I don't like either side here. I think the money will come in on Machida, but I don't expect it to be enough to make an arb play viable.

Machida closed as a -180 favorite for the first fight against Evans at UFC 98.

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