When Lyoto Machida knocked out Rashad Evans at UFC 98 in 2009, not only did he produce one of the most gruesome (and often used) meme pictures in MMA history, he also won the light-heavyweight championship in the process. Back then, many believed the so-called Machida era had begun.
But it hadn't.
The Brazilian karate expert lost his belt to Mauricio Rua just a year later. And after three defeats in his next six fights, Machida decided to move down to middleweight, but struggled to find back to his earlier success. Having lost three of his last four bouts, he hoped to collect his first victory since 2014 in a rematch against Dan Henderson, this Saturday at UFC on FOX. But the fight fell apart when news surfaced that Machida had admitted use of a band substance out of competition. He told USADA reps during a drug test that he had taken a regular supplement that included a substance banned by the organization.
His former foe Rashad Evans believes him, and simply can't imagine that the proud Brazilian, who notoriously used his own urine as a natural performance-enhancer before fights, could be a cheater.
"I heard about it and it's kind of unfortunate," Evans told MMA Fighting after the UFC on FOX open workouts in Tampa on Thursday. "I don't think that was really trying to pull a fast one or do anything kind of crazy. When it comes to educating yourself about the fighters and what they can and can't take, it's gonna be a tough process, because for so long we've done it one way. It's just educating yourself what you can and can't take and stuff like that. It's too bad, you know, because I believe he wasn't trying to do nothing shady."