Silver screen starlets, fledgling rock bands, earthquakes, the absence of an NFL team -- you name it, and Los Angeles has it in droves.
Zuffa returns to the City of Angels for the first time in more than three years with UFC 104 ďMachida vs. ShogunĒ this Saturday at the Staples Center. In the main event, light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida defends his title against 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner Mauricio Rua.
Sherdog.com recently gathered predictions from a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge how they think the UFC 104 headliner will unfold.
Cub Swanson: Machida wins by second-round karate chop.
Jason Lambert: Machida [by] TKO.
Marvin Eastman: Machida by ugly decision.
Rory Markham: I love Shogun and his style, but itís so hard to bet against Machida as of late. Iíll take the crazy pee-drinking karate man.
Eddy Millis: Machida, Machida, Machida! First-round KO, [courtesy of his] right hand.
Travis Lutter: I think Machida will win this one. Machidaís movement and footwork should be the difference.
Erin Toughill: Iím sure both will have respect for the otherís stand-up at first. I hope Machida starts out a little quicker than usual, but since heís a counter puncher, heíll probably wait for Shogun to create an opening, and Machida will capitalize off that. Machida wins by TKO in the second round.
Zac George: Machida uses his bizarre movement and cat-like reflexes to pick apart Rua en route to a second-round TKO.
Nick Thompson: Machida defeats opponents who are overly aggressive, and Shogun is all aggression. That being said, I am always wrong on these things, so bet the farm on Shogun.
Urijah Faber: Machida [via] side kick to the throat.
Roland Sarria: I think Shogun will win with a donkey-bong punch in the third round.
Jamie Varner: Machida defeats [Rua] by TKO.
Tom Gavrilos: One thing an elite counterpuncher loves is over-aggressiveness and wide looping punches. Iíve always been a big Shogun fan, but I choose Machida by decision. If you believe that styles make fights, itís hard to give the nod to Shogun.
Stav Economou: Machida by KO in the third round.
Michael Guymon: Machida is gonna be too much. Shogun will have trouble with Machidaís distance and game, in general. [Machida by] KO in the third round.
Thomas Denny: Machida by second-round TKO. ďThe DragonĒ will reign supreme.
Ben Saunders: Tough fight to call. Shogun is a badass fighter, and this fight will show how good Machida is, going against a fellow striker. In the end, I believe Machida is just too good at being elusive. Honestly, anyone that is set to fight him should bring in top notch karate guys to work with in order to understand the style matchup. You gotta love the unorthodox fighters.
Mike Ciesnolevicz: I think Shogun is an awesome fighter. Against anyone else, I might pick him, but I donít even think the fight will be that competitive style-wise. I think Machida has the better stand-up, better takedowns, probably at least equal if not better [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] and better cardio. Add that to the fact he doesnít even get hit in his fights. I donít know what Shogun can possibly do to win this fight outside of landing a bomb in an exchange after trying to cut Machida off and make him trade. Outside of Fedor and some of the other top heavyweights in MMA and maybe Anderson Silva -- even though they wonít fight because they are friends -- I donít see who can really test Machida. Call me crazy, but I actually think Machida would beat Brock Lesnar by being a smarter, faster, more elusive fighter, not to mention a superior mixed martial artist. I think itís great that he said after five title defenses he wants to fight Lesnar. He is a true martial artist and maybe the greatest fighter in the world. Machida by TKO, round two.
Robin Black: When you hear a guy talking about defending his title five times, then fighting Brock Lesnar, you could be forgiven for thinking heís looking past his opponent. Hell, probably everyone is looking past Shogun. His in-your-face style is tailor made for The Dragonís near mythical lightning counter fighting. But donít just arbitrarily count Shogun out. Heís a proud, explosive athlete whoís been training for his title shot. And this is the UFC. Anything can happen. Iím going out on a limb -- and being mocked by my training partners here at Xtreme Couture Toronto -- and picking Shogun by TKO.
Kit Cope: I think Ruaís aggressive style may just be the key to disarming Machida. It may be tough for Lyoto to set his karate up with Shogun running him down constantly. Conversely, Machida could just have Rua chase him around until heís tuckered, then take advantage. I tend to believe the latter.
Gabe Ruediger: Machida should win. His striking is too precise and his movement is too good. His ground game is more than competent, as well. Itís a fight, and Shogun is very dangerous, so anything can happen, but Iím going with Machida by TKO in round two or three.
Stephane Vigneault: I think Machida is alone in his division right now. His stand-up style is very, very effective, and he is pretty well-rounded. [I like] Machida by TKO in round three, but we never know. Maybe a Shogun wild hook can [land].
John Hackleman: My prediction is that itíll be a great fight between two great fighters, but I think Machidaís karate is going to be a little too much for Shogun to handle; a little too unorthodox, a little too unpredictable. I think heís going to be a little too accurate, and I think heís going to pick apart Shogun. I think Machidaís karate is almost invincible. I donít know if heís going to win by knockout, but I think, if not, itís going to be a decision. The only reason why I wonít predict a knockout is because Shogun is so good and so tough, but I think Machidaís karate is going to reign supreme in this fight, with pinpoint accuracy, timing and flawless technique.
Pros that picked Machida: 21
Pros that picked Rua: 2
Wow... 21 vs 2 in favor of Lyoto.
Most one sided pros picks ever?