UFC 113: Lyoto "Dragon" Machida Is A Statistical Winner Over "Shogun" Rua
According to a recent article, found in the Calgary Sun here in Canada, UFC 113's two main protagonists, Lyoto 'The Dragon' Machida, and his rematch nemesis Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua, who will share the spotlight in the main event for next Saturday's cagefighting show staged at the Bell Centre Montreal , QC , have a tough set of statistics to follow.
I'm not big on statistics in any sport, not only because I'm notoriously handicapped in the subject of mathematics, but also because "stats" usually don't make allowances for the human factors in the equation.
Factors such as the combatants' mental and physical preparation, experience, and one of the most overlooked factors, a fighter's confidence level.
A confident fighter is usually also a well-trained and well-prepared fighter, the three factors go hand-in-hand.
The greatest heavyweight boxer who ever lived, Muhammad Ali, also once said, in essence, that "champions aren't made in gyms, they are born."
What he meant was that some fighters are simply more naturally gifted athletes than others—and that no amount of training can completely compensate for this.
That being said, Rua and Machida are truly individual masters of their respective techniques, and experts in their given fields of combat; which for Rua, is the Muay Thai kickboxing style, and for the champion Machida, it's a fighting style which has been instilled in him since birth, Shotokan karate.
So when we look at the below statistics, the first thing that glares at us, is we see a man in the current UFC champion Machida, who is not only undefeated, but also has never been knocked down in a fight.
Then we see a guy in Rua who did exceedingly well—albeit in a losing effort, to the 205-pound champion (Machida) in their first meeting.
However, when we look carefully at the big picture, we see that Rua has lost four times and made his name in a now-defunct, lower-level, Japanese organization, Pride Fighting Championships.
Rua was also most notably dropped by top-20 fighter Antonio "Little Nog" Nogueira, and defeated by a "reality show" champion named Forrest Griffin.
Although Griffin is a former 205-pound divisional UFC champion, he is—in my opinion—a fighter who would not belong in the same ring with the current champion Machida; and also one who would undoubtedly be knocked out cold before the one minute mark of the very the first round, if he were to ever face "The Dragon."
As I expressed earlier, I'm not in any way, shape, or form, a subscriber to statistics; but these statistics provide facts, and facts—no matter how blurred—will tell us the true story in the end.
My prediction is an early stoppage or knockout, via the lethal hands of my "all-time" favorite fighter, the undefeated champion, 'Dragon' Machida.
- Absorbs fewer head strikes than any fighter in modern UFC history. However, he took a lot of shots to the body and legs in the first Rua fight.
- Third-best takedown defense in UFC history (minimum 30 attempts). Only Georges St. Pierre and Andrei Arlovski have proven more difficult to get to the mat.
- Second-longest winning streak in UFC history. Anderson Silva holds the current record.
- Has scored nine knockdowns in eight fights; third-most in UFC history. Has never been knocked down.
- Hit Machida more than all previous UFC opponents combined. Landed 80 significant strikes against Machida, previous opponents only managed 62 combined.
- Strikes to the body and legs account for more than half of total landed strikes.
- Hasn't been knocked down in over four years. Last person to drop him was Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, an excellent striker in his own right.
- Third-most knockout wins in PRIDE history. This puts him behind only Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Filipovic.
"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill." —Muhammad Ali