Machida will be LHW Champ by the end of 2013
From another forum.
Yes these involve plenty of speculation, as they should. But I will just share the following goodies of my logic, which I think are mutually supporting , rather than points that can be fully isolated from each other.
1. Machida is hungry. If he can find a fight to stay active I think he will stay hungry.
He is the kind of person who has mental discipline and long term planning, and he also knows this may be his last real shot. He has moved to the usa for this reason. As for Jones it is hard for any champ to stay hungry forever. Machida seems less afraid of him than he was after losing to Shogun. Jones doesn't lack maturity but doesn't have it in spades cuz he hasn't lost. Maturity plus hunger = dangerous.
2. Machida's glaring mma deficiency, the dropping of his hand, was crucial in losing him the fight against Jones. I believe he has addressed this problem.
3. Machida was abnormally heavy/big for the Jones fight. This was a big mistake, as a. he already has knockout power against anybody in the ufc if he times the shot right. b. his whole style depends on mobility and speed. c. Given machida's style, and Jones' reach advantage, it is hard to see how giving up speed for being a bit stronger would help against Jones. I believe Machida knows this now, and he will keep fighting at a leaner size.
4. Machida was overly aggressive against Jones. His blitzes were and are the right way to win, but need to be worked into a larger game plan of varied paces and enough of his defensive bread and butter. I think Machida knows this now.
5. Machida is very hard to deal with when he is doing what he does. Having been hit by Jones strikes due to the aforementioned former bad habit of letting his guard down, he sealed his fate. Once he was on his feet again, he stopped doing what he does. Machida stopped moving. He just stood there looking bewildered. If he keeps his guard up and works on his striking, that won't happen and he wont stop moving, especially coming in lighter.
6. Both fighters need to work on their striking, and the key to the fight lies there. Bones is not going to manhandle Machida and keep him down unless he gets the better of him again standing up. Both men know that, but Machida has a far better striking base to build upon than Jones does. He has also really improved his camp situation and his wrestling partners since the Jones fight by moving to the usa.
7. It is fallacy to consider Machida's not so exciting performance against Henderson as evidence that he has got nothing for Jones, or that he doesn't look hungry. He knows full well where his legacy stands right now and all he cared about was getting a guaranteed W so he could get the title shot. His calculated though boring approach in the hendo fight was not evidence of his stagnation, but of his seriousness. Getting the belt > the guy who also beat Hendo in an exciting fight.
8. A lighter Machida with hands up will be hard for Jones to take down. Machida's wrestling strength is in the clinch (tossed hendo from there). Jones' clinch is better by wrestling and offensive standards but because of how Machidas wrestling clinch mixes with his close range counters and footwork, his defense from clinch is trouble for anyone. And so its no surprise Jones took him down with a great double.
Machida is not a guy that is easy to double due to the distance you have to cover, you have to hit him solidly or break his rhythm to be able to do it, which Jones awesomely did. Current Machida will not fall prey to the above. Also, Jones still dove a huge distance for that shot, with the cage closing the deal. This helps to show that even with his power and length Jones could get in trouble diving against a mobile, unrocked, lighter Machida.
9. Machida's unpredictability/movement and ground defense looked better in the Hendo fight.