Judges didn’t screw Machida; Machida screwed Machida

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, UFC Events
Tags: , ,

machidalossPlenty of Lyoto Machida fans are up in arms today about the decision loss he suffered at the hands of Phil Davis Saturday night. I was shocked by the outcome—I actually had The Dragon winning all three rounds for a 30-27 win in my book—but I have to say, this article won’t necessarily be about poor judging in MMA.

I admit it; I still think Machida won the fight. I also admit that it blows my mind that many judges think a takedown is equivalent to about 20 unanswered punches to the face. But when we dole out blame for this “mistake,” we can begin and end with Machida himself.

His style has always been described as an elusive puzzle to be solved. He’s definitely elusive. He’s also very patient with his attacks. He sits back and waits for his opponent to make a mistake and then he pounces—momentarily and suddenly—and then reels it back in.

Unfortunately, all that leads to one thing—not enough offense to make a serious impression on the judges. I’m trying not to blame the victim here, but when I look at the Fight Metric statistics from the fight, I can’t help but think Machida could have—should have—done a lot more. Case in point…The Dragon landed 10 shots in the 1st round. TEN! The great karate master (and he is; I’m really not being sarcastic) who has knockout wins over Bonnar, Franklin, Evans, Couture, Bader, etc. landed 10 strikes in the first round.

How about 7 in the 2nd round? And 10 more in the 3rd? Man, I have to be honest, that’s not enough activity to make the judges KNOW you won. Notice I didn’t say “think.” It’s the fighter’s responsibility to make sure the judges KNOW who won the fight. And this is the second time Machida has “won” a fight statistically, in the opinions of most fans (and me), and even in the eyes of his opponent; but failed to leave that impression on the judges.

Have you ever seen a fighter more surprised to find out he won the fight than Davis was? Well, actually yes. It was the same reaction Rampage Jackson had when he found out he defeated Machida. Styles make fights? Well, unfortunately, styles also influence judges. And there’s no question Machida’s style is currently his worst enemy.

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