Three interesting takes on Machida that have been posted the last couple of days:
A lot of people are falling in line with the hype machine, saying that Machida is “elusive” and “confounding” like that’s something we should give him props for. No one wants to be called an “ignorant fan”, so rather than call a spade a spade they’re nodding and agreeing that Machida is simply amazing. And while he might be good at what he does, he still fucking sucks. And here’s why:
Simply put, actively keeping a fight from happening and then winning on two or three exchanges is bullshit. Let’s look at this in terms of another sport: Imagine there was a basketball team out there that decided to play the game in a completely different way. They set up a system where they completely stifle all offense, and win the game 7-3. While you can be impressed at the team’s amazing defense and their ability to completely neutralize all play, is that really something that should be applauded?
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has done this throughout his career in boxing and the guy is considered the best pound for pound boxer in the world and one of the best ever. He’s loved by millions while Machida is a villain. I don’t understand that. Machida is outstanding at not getting hit and making sure that he hits you when he has the chance. What is so wrong about that?
Did you expect him to get into a slugfest with Tito Ortiz? Did you expect him to stand right in front of him and allow Ortiz space to take him down? If you’ve watched Machida before then you know exactly what to expect. He never plays into his opponents’ strengths and that’s what makes him so good.
And Rami Genauer drops some science :
If you watched this fight, you saw the extremely rare occurrence of an upper-echelon fighter scoring zero points in a full round. In the first round of the fight, Tito Ortiz attempted 18 strikes and two takedowns. He landed none of them. In fact, it took Ortiz a full eight minutes before he landed his first significant offensive technique. FightMetric awards points for effectiveness based on the historical quality of techniques landed. In the first round, Machida out-pointed Ortiz 41-0. In the second round, it was 62-2.
I'd have more sympathy for Fightlinker's position that Machida is a new pestilence if I found him boring to watch, but I don't, I dig what he's doing. This Sherdog post from Rambamatic sums up one of my fascinations with Machida -- his effective use of traditional karate in MMA:
His fighting style is very much traditional karate based in its strategy and execution. Like Cung Le, for example, here is a fighter that brings a traditional martial art into the ring and makes it work. This is a very important aspect of his game that has ramifications beyond just Machida as a fighter....it challenges a number of assumptions that we have had about TMA's since MMA changed our outlook.
What I find very interesting here is that Machida's style...the counter-fighting style of constant motion, creating angles and waiting for your opponent to enter, then moving in, hitting very quickly, and getting out; as well as the strategy of waiting for your opponent to make small mistakes and then immediately moving in, capitalizing on that mistake, and then disengaging, is classic Karate from Kumite and full contact sparring.
Machida uses this very effectively, and SO DOES CHUCK LIDDEL. However, when Chuck moves in, he can afford to stand in front of his opponent and swing more punches because he has such huge KO power. Machida does not have that KO power, so he moves out and disengages much faster because he knows he doesn't have the luxury of standing in front of his opponent like Chuck does.
However, in both of their styles, you can very clearly see the Karate background and influence of both fighters. For example, Chuck does this thing that only he does, and does it very well; he stands right over downed opponents and hits them from a standing position....and he does it all the time, and in a position that no other fighters really do. That particular style is right out of KaJuKenBo, which is the style that Hackelman's lineage comes from, and which is very common in Kempo.