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Old 09-28-2008, 03:30 PM   #52 (permalink)
G-S-P
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I don't give Thiago a very good chance of beating Machida merely because his stand-up is powerful but unrefined and he does the typical Chute Boxe style three-step walk kind of footwork. Not to say that Thai boxing footwork sucks because it doesn't, it's just that when you're fighting a mobile opponent like Machida you can't just plod forward slowly. You have to employ a lot of lateral movement to cut him off and I haven't seen Thiago do much of that at all.

There are a lot of people who seem to think that the Chute Boxe style of aggressively trading might work against Machida, particularly because they haven't really seen his chin tested and think that he might wilt under the pressure, but first he's got to cut him off which is a problem as listed above, and secondly they've got be accurate in a trading situation because Machida doesn't seem to miss when he actually decides to plant and throw a good shot. Thiago's wide-open style of punching has a chance to catch Machida if he's in a trading situation, but not much of one because Lyoto's ability to judge range and slip shots with his upper-body movement is second to none.

I do, however, think that the BJJ advantage goes to Silva on paper because he's a black belt and Lyoto a brown, but we all know that doesn't always equate to superiority, particularly in a MMA fight. I lean towards Thiago because his ground work has looked very tight in his previous fights and I think in top position he could make some real problems for Machida, but there's another problem and it's getting Lyoto on his back. He showed some very good takedown defense against Ortiz and while his wrestling is good, his footwork is even better in stopping the takedown sense it's hard to ever slow him down to set up a shot or clinch situation.

To sum it up, I'd wager that this ends up being another clear Machida UD.
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