Who You Got? UFC 129: Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida

MMA Valor’s esteemed owner Josh Wood and I are taking opposing views on the big fights for this Saturday nights UFC 129.  We’ll tell you why a fighter can win the fight, and let you make your own conclusion.  In this fight match-up, I’ve got Lyoto Machida and Josh has Randy Couture.

Lyoto Machida will beat Randy Couture Saturday night, and here’s why.  He’s younger, hungrier, too athletic and far too elusive for Couture’s standard “Pin and Pop” technique.   Randy loves to pin his opponent against the cage and pop them with dirty boxing and basically beat them up in a phone booth.

Against the majority of fighters at 205 pounds, it’s a perfect technique but against the more athletic breed like Machida, Rashad Evans, Jon Jones and such it won’t work.  In order to hold someone like Lyoto against the fence, you first have to put him there.   Lyoto will be very difficult to corner, as he keeps a distance in the cage and utilizes an unusual style to kick, punch and then be out of the pocket before you can respond.

Randy has been told before that he can’t do something, and Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga can both tell you it’s not good to be favored against Captain America.  Those guys however are plodding and slow.  Brandon Vera was held against the cage by Couture, because basically he allowed it and thought he’d succeed there.  Lyoto is under no such illusion.  He knows to win this fight; he should counterpunch when it is available and be outside of the pocket the rest of the time.  If Randy gets close enough to pin Lyoto, expect the Karate star to utilize his picture perfect throws.

This fight could very well be Randy’s swan song, and he’s said repeatedly that he wants to go out on his terms.  Well, his terms don’t include a submission defeat or a unanimous decision loss, so this might not be how he wants to go out.

What do you have to say about that Josh?

We are talking about Randy Couture here right? The guy who studies his opponents, coming up with a perfect game plan for their style and has only lost at light heavyweight in UFC to Chuck Liddell and Vitor Belfort.

Machida is elusive and a counter-strikers but let’s not confuse him with a ninja here and remember that Rampage Jackson got him in the cinch in their bout back at UFC 123. Couture will get Machida in the clinch and put a hurt on him with his dirty boxing but will also use his clean boxing to force Machida to back pedal while looking for a counter punch.

If Machida thinks that he’ll be able to throw around Couture should he get too close I’m sure “The Natural” would be happy to introduce him to his Greco-Roman Wrestling skills. Machida is not blessed with devastating one punch knockout power even though he did finish Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva. The Majority of his wins are via Decision and Couture has only one career loss via the judges’ scorecards.

If in fact this is caption America’s last fight inside the Octagon he will be ending his career handing the Machida Era his third straight loss and possible giving him a pink slip to boot.

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