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Memo to Everyone: Machida is not Starnes

Lyoto Machida (red glove tape) vs. Tito OrtizI’ve been perusing various MMA blogs, websites, and forums over the past few days and am beginning to see a common theme regarding Lyoto Machida. Either you love him and his style or you hate him and his style. There doesn’t seem to be any in-between. You think he’s boring? That’s fine. You think he’s fun to watch? That’s all good and well too. I, for one, enjoy watching Machida fight because he is so confusing to his opponents, he always has a good gameplan, and he rarely makes mistakes.

But what I don’t understand is likening him to Kalib Starnes in his fight against Nate Quarry. This argument is the kind of uninformed, unintelligent B.S. that I have been seeing spewed all over the place since Saturday night. Did these people even watch the fight?

First and foremost, if you don’t remember, Kalib Starnes lost his fight against Nate Quarry. He absolutely refused to engage and literally was backpedaling around the cage. You can’t fight like Starnes and win. So that begs to the question: how does this apply to Machida? Machida moves in, engages, and moves out. He creates his own pocket, on his time, and by his book. He makes you fight his game.
Picture courtesy of SHERDOG.COM

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has done this throughout his career in boxing and the guy is considered the best pound for pound boxer in the world and one of the best ever. He’s loved by millions while Machida is a villain. I don’t understand that. Machida is outstanding at not getting hit and making sure that he hits you when he has the chance. What is so wrong about that?

Did you expect him to get into a slugfest with Tito Ortiz? Did you expect him to stand right in front of him and allow Ortiz space to take him down? If you’ve watched Machida before then you know exactly what to expect. He never plays into his opponents’ strengths and that’s what makes him so good.

Another thing I don’t understand is where all this hate suddenly came from. Did these people not watch Machida fight Franklin? Penn? Bonnar? Sokoudjou? Nakamura? He’s had the same style for a long time now and all of a sudden everyone has their panties in a bunch because he beat Tito Ortiz.

Like I said, I don’t care if you like Machida or hate Machida. But please don’t group him in with Kalib Starnes because he deserves better from MMA fans. And if you truly think that, then I have to say that you don’t know what you’re watching.