There is only one champion, so I believe this fight must happen. It’s a professional issue, and I believe they can fight. Deep down, everyone wants to know who is strongest. Friendship is friendship, but they’re not amateurs. The eventual winner isn’t my concern. What matters to me is how they win, and their strategy. This would be a mental battle.
I think Yoshizo Machida just became Dana White’s new favorite person. While we’ve yet to see a major fight between two teammates, Dana has been adamant that team unity shouldn’t and won’t get in the way of making big fights in the UFC. In this particular instance, Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva have publicly stated they will never fight each other, however it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that Yoshizo could convince his son otherwise. As for Anderson, well, he doesn’t seem particularly interested in fighting anyone in the weight classes he competes in these days, but his next opponent, Vitor Belfort, has spent a little time training with Lyoto’s camp recently, so maybe that would be enough to convince him to accept the fight if it the timing’s ever right.
Of course, if Shogun Rua defeats Machida in their rematch at UFC 113, this all becomes a moot point. It’s a very real possibility that Machida’s father seems to realize. He admits Shogun was able to find and exploit Lyoto’s weaknesses in their first meeting.
A vital part of Lyoto’s game, since his power comes from the legs, and Shogun killed his leg. At any rate, the experience was good for us, since we’d never dealt with adversity. Karate also has its weaknesses, but no one had seen them up until now. Shogun exploited them, and deserves congratulations. That’s exactly what I told him after the fight when he was crying, pissed that he didn’t win. Lyoto did his weight training and is a very strong fighter. A different fighter would’ve gone down in the third round.
Had Shogun fought as he normally does, with his arms, Lyoto would’ve knocked him out in the first or second round. We did not expect him to kick that much and neglected the karate defense, which is different from the muay thai defense. Before the kick, you move up and stop the attack. We already planned a different strategy for next time, studying everything.
There’s no question Lyoto will be better prepared to deal with Shogun’s leg kicks in the rematch, but the question is, will Shogun and his team come up with a new strategy to throw Machida off his game once again? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.
Image via Sherdog