Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lyoto Machida: "The American Commentators Were Pretty Much Biased"

UFC light heavyweight champ, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida spoke with sherdog.com today to share his feelings on Saturday's controversial decision. Many who saw the fight, myself included, judged it in favor of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, but Lyoto feels that many of our opinions may have been swayed by biased play calling from Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg. He says he has faith in the competence of the official judges and that he came closer to finishing "Shogun," which rightly turned the decision in his favor.

“I thought it was a very even and tough fight,” Machida said. “I had the opportunity to see the fight again and I thought I won four rounds and Shogun took the last one. Some people say he won the fourth and fifth round, but for sure I won at least the first three rounds. The American commentators were pretty much biased. If you see the fight without audio, you will probably see a different fight. Shogun was a great opponent and had a nice strategy. He deserves all my respect as a fighter, but I was superior. I had three or four chances to finish the fight, and he never put me in danger. I didn’t get (dazed) at any moment of the fight, but I put him in danger three or four times. He kicked my legs a couple of times, but he wouldn’t knock me out with that.”

On the one hand, I agree that the commentary was ridiculously biased. Being a Machida fan, I was criticizing Rogan's skewed commentary throughout the fight. Whenever the fighters exchanged blows, Joe would only mention the shots that "Shogun" landed and almost never pointed out Machida's. Don't get me wrong, I still believe "Shogun" did just enough to win round one, as well as handily winning rounds four and five, and, thus, he took the fight on my card. Still, this fight was extremely technical and very close. People who say it was one of the biggest blown calls in UFC history need to rewatch the fight, perhaps, as Machida suggests, with the sound turned off.

Also, I think there is something to Machida's argument that he tried much harder to finish the fight. On some level, such high-risk-high-reward attempts as flying knees and barrages of punches could rationally be scored with more weight than even repeated leg kicks, which are extremely unlikely to force a conclusion to a bout.

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