Lyoto Machida an Evaded Dragon

Written by Tim Ngo
June 30th, 2008

UFC Light Heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida is having a tough time finding a next opponent. You’d figure that a fighter who boasts a 13-0-0 record would be an easy target for a fight. Unfortunately for Machida though, his style is a very dangerous one for any fighter to deal with. Forrest Griffin recently told Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer, “I want nothing to do with that guy.  Not at all.”

Why is everybody so weary of accepting a fight with Machida? It’s as complex as his fighting style. Machida is widely known as a counter fighter who waits for his opponent to attack before he makes a move. In his most recent fight, a victory over former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz, his plan worked to perfection.

It was clear to everyone in attendance (including ourselves) as well as everyone who watched the event on Pay-Per-View that Ortiz was clearly frustrated that Machida was circling too much, which prompted Ortiz to make several gestures at Machida during the fight.

Brandon Vera and Wanderlei Silva have both been rumored to decline fights with Machida for July 19th’s Ultimate Fight Night card. The fear is that Machida’s style would prevent both fighters from putting on an exciting fight, which is what the fans pay for. The cons of fighting Machida far outweigh the pros and that’s where Machida has trouble finding an opponent.

Obviously, if UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva forced a top Light Heavyweight to square off against Machida they would, but there’s never been anybody in recent memory who’s had such a hard time finding an opponent.

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