“Most of the guys that fought Lyoto… found a problem with patience, with finding the right moment to attack, or to counter-strike him. Some guys try to rush it too much; some guys try to stay too patient, (and) they start to get nervous because of that…I think the key is the timing of the fight, to get the feeling of when to engage and when to counter-strike him. This is likely the key, to find the pace and the rhythm, mostly the timing of the strikes to be able to connect and to make it a fight. For sure, I’m going to concentrate on that and develop a good strategy.”
—Mauricio “Shogun” Rua telling MMA Weekly that the key to beating Lyoto Machida is knowing the right moments to attack
Machida sure is tough nut to crack. I think Shogun is on the right track, but considering he’s one of the most aggressive light heavyweights this sport has seen, I questions whether he’s the fighter who can stay patient long enough to find openings against Machida. One thing I would like to see Shogun try is attacking Machida’s body. Everyone goes after his head but he’s always leaning back or to the side keeping it out striking range while his body is still right there for the taking. Maybe it wouldn’t work but neither has anything else. Just a thought.
Shogun also mentioned they’re having a problem finding sparring partners that can emulate Machida. It’s just like all the fighters who seem unbeatable these days—Silva, Fedor, GSP, Lesnar—there just aren’t guys out there that can do what they do. It’s definitely a disadvantage when a fighter sees stuff in the fight that he never saw in training.
I wouldn’t count Shogun out, but it’s undoubtedly going to be the toughest challenge of his career thus far.