Could Evans-Machida be the top fight of the year? Quite possibly
Depending on what kind of fight fan you are,
What remains to be seen is if Machida's style of "violent non-violence" is the beginning of a new era in MMA or just an anomaly that will soon be forgotten.
Throughout his professional career, Machida (14-0) has never faced a fighter like Evans (18-0-1). The UFC light heavyweight champ is a powerful wrestler and explosive athlete who can either methodically control the pace of the fight or end it in one brief spasm of offense. He's also a smart fighter who won't be easily frustrated by Machida's unwillingness to wade right into the fray. It's because of that style contrast, and partly because both men enter this bout without a loss on their records that this could easily be one of the most compelling UFC title fights in the past year. At least, on paper.
The chances are just as great that Machida-Evans will turn out to be a snoozefest of feints, and counters to counters. And this might go on for five painful rounds. It will either be an instant classic or a forgettable bore. Either way we learn something about both men that we didn't know before, and that's worth the price of admission right there.
The thing that was once so compelling about the
But a fight based on pure acrimony and very little else has a limited shelf life, and this one is past it. No matter who wins this fight, it's hard to imagine that either fighter will have much of a future in the UFC's welterweight division. As great as Hughes (43-7) once was, he's not that guy anymore. He's probably still big and strong enough to bully Serra (16-5) around the cage for three rounds, but then what?
These two guys are still going to hate each other after this fight. Winning won't make either of them a title contender, though losing will move them one step closer to getting ousted from the UFC. Just don't expect a lot of good-natured backslapping afterwards.
When it comes to the UFC's lightweight division, there's no better way for a fighter to signal that he's at, or near, the top than by beating
The latter is probably more likely, simply because Sherk has shown a willingness of late to keep the fight standing in order to prove that he can win with his striking. That would be an error of ego here, since Sherk has the perfect tools to expose Edgar's weaknesses. All he has to do is be smart enough to use them.
You may not get to see them all on the televised portion of the card (PPV, 10 p.m. ET), but there are a few bright prospects to watch out for on the undercard. Former kickboxer