Looking around at the forums and message boards , it's clear that there is a big split among MMA fans about Lyoto Machida. Some even say that being a fan of Machida = being a true fan of MMA:
I think when Machida fights you really get to see which fans appreciate MMA as a sport, and which just like to watch for random violence.
But others had more nuanced critiques :
Tito was pushing the fight...Machida was dragging it out. There is a difference between counterpunching, picking apart and avoidance. A large portion of the fight, Machida was simply attempting to avoid the fight...specifically most of the second round. He did press the fight a few times, but it was in 5 second spurts with agonizing minutes of inactivity in between those spurts.
Personally, I'm a huge Machida fan. I thought his performance last night was dazzling in parts -- especially in round one and to a lesser extent in round two -- but have to agree with Luke's analysis on Any Given Saturday that Tito's performance in round three was very impressive. I'd give all three rounds to Lyoto because that knee to the liver was brutal, but Tito's triangle is one of those moves that was so close you could cry for him.
I want to see Machida vs Thiago Silva -- battle of the undefeated Brazilians. Total opposites. Fire and Ice. But both are fast rising contenders.
The other thing about this that I just don't relate to is this -- Machida pulls off some of the flashiest moves I've ever seen in MMA. This double kick is fucking rad. If you don't like moves like that, just what are you looking for?
Even more than layNpray, the fighters that bore me are those like Josh "Bring the Pain" Haynes who just brawl wildly with no skill or gameplan.