Saturday night, fellow former champs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Lyoto Machida will each have a chance to position themselves for a future title shot. Rua will meet Brandon Vera and Machida takes on Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4.
Recently, Liddell, Couture and Ortiz were asked to give their opinion on each 205-pound encounter.
Liddell on Rua vs. Vera:
I like ‘Shogun’ in this one. I think the incentive to get a shot at his belt will really make him come out all guns blazing and of course he can hit. I expect to see the best Vera we’ve seen in a long time, but I think ‘Shogun’ has this.
Couture on Rua vs. Vera:
Rua is still one of the top contenders for the belt and should be feeling the pressure to impress on the night. He has to be favored to win this – he’s the guy with more big wins, championship experience, and he’s the one with serious ambitions of being a two-time UFC champion at the weight. It is Rua’s fight, but don’t discount the upset.
Ortiz on Rua vs. Vera:
This is ‘Shogun’s’ fight to lose. He has the advantage, he has the experience, and he must feel that he can win the title back and won’t want to miss out on that shot. I think ‘Shogun’ should win, but Vera winning would be a heck of a story, and if he can do it, good for him.
Liddell on Machida vs. Bader:
Bader has to take him down and not get caught on the way in. I’m going for Machida to catch him coming in and stopping him.
Couture on Machida vs. Bader:
For Bader, the real challenge is finding out a way to get to Machida consistently. I think Bader needs to get the takedown very quickly in the fight before Machida hits his stride or he will have problems.
Ortiz on Machida vs. Bader:
With Bader, I had my way with him (Ortiz won by submission). I landed a big shot and tapped him out with a choke, but I think losing like that made him make adjustments and I think he can still be a champion some day. I think Bader could take this.
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