What I’m about to tell all of you is by no means news, admittedly this is more of an acknowledgment than anything else. But I would certainly be remiss if I neglected to state my fear of UFC 98’s main event, Rashad Evans defending against Lyoto Machida, falling flatter than Waring Hudsucker did from that 44th floor- not counting the mezzanine.
Some folks in the blogosphere have taken a crack at dissecting how champion/underdog Evans can best the elusive Machida with the help of clinch work, Greg Jackson’s master planning, and the ability to keep gas in the tank. Others remain loyal to the ongoing theorem that no one can genuinely figure out Lyoto- not Rashad, Rampage, or any assortment of octagon animal. Surely, the battle between “Sugar” and “The Dragon” will be strategic and curious…but it might also be more disappointing than Waterworld.
So before you crack open that savings account for the $44.95 it costs to order UFC 98 on pay-per-view, think for a second about what you may or may not be missing. And keep in mind that plenty of bars show UFC ppv’s for a reasonable cover charge (I usually go to Champps here in Philly if, you know, you ever want to meet up or something.)
Without getting all Bill Nye on the technical aspects of the match up, I will stand on my soapbox and declare that the most obvious stylistic feature of Rashad and Lyoto are that both force their unsuspecting prey to approach and press the action. We can agree on this, yes?
So, what happens when two fighters who thrive on countering the engaging opponent meet in the center of the octagon? I have no idea, but it could very well result in a back and forth that goes nowhere for 25 minutes. I highly doubt, rather I sincerely hope that such will not be the case on May 23, but it could. And if it does, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Caveat emptor.