Live blog from Evans-Machida fight, UFC 98
'Round and 'round we go, Machida or Evans nobody knows. Well, not for another hour or so.
One of the most strategically compelling fights in UFC championship history,
Blame it on a lack of respect for "Sugar" Rashad if you like -- without a doubt the 29-year-old former Michigan State wrestler stands as the least appreciated champion on the UFC roster -- but much of the support for Machida begins and ends with a confounding karate-centric striking that's propelled him to a perfect stint in the UFC.
Deciding for the second consecutive fight to forsake the wrestling game that brought him to the precipice of a UFC welterweight title, and later delivered the organization's 155-pound championship, the short-armed Sherk attempted to box a quicker Edgar. In doing so, he gave away rounds one and two without so much as a hint of a takedown. When he finally made an effort in the third, Sherk (33-4-1) easily landed a powerful double-leg. But by that time Edgar established an effective rhythm and Sherk hardly had anything left.
Why fighters continue to get away from what makes them effective with a mind on being "exciting," I'll never understand.
If Evans is effective early, and that would be surprising since he's a slow starter, it wouldn't surprise me if Machida closes ranks and plays a purely defensive game. Then again, the challenger's footwork and defense could force Evans into a mistake. Guess the debate rages on.