Sunday, May 10, 2009
UFC 98 Happening This Very May 23rd
...And oh what an event it threatens to be. Tapped for May 23rd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena (you can catch it on PPV starting 10 PM Eastern), this event showcases a main event title fight between two of the toughest mugs still carrying unbeaten records. Light Heavyweight kingpin Rashad Evans (13-0-1) puts his belt on the line in his first defense against the elusive Lyoto Machida (14-0), who has yet to drop a single round in any of his 14 contests. Evans took the belt in spectacular fashion last late December by smashing everyone's boy Forrest Griffin in to the mat with some powerful right fisted ground and pound midway through the 3rd round of Griffin's first title defense. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was initially given the first crack at Evans' crown after he outpointed the champ's stablemate, Keith Jardine, in a back and forth battle during the main event of UFC 96 (and even had a memorable smacktalk/staredown session with Rashad following the contest), but reluctantly relinquished his number one contender status to the ready Machida to heal some nagging injuries. Brazilian standout Lyoto Machida may be a bigger challenge to the crown than former champ Jackson for numerous reasons, the most telling being that no one that has faced him has figured out how to score points against his attack and retreat -then repeat- style. Machida holds dominant victories over the likes of Rich Franklin, BJ Penn, Stephan Bonnar, Sokoudjou, Tito Ortiz and most recent, previoulsy undefeated fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva, in a buzzer beating knockout destined for highlight reels for long times to come (Sidenote: Machida drinks his own urine each and every morning. Dedication to like this to gaining antibodies could not go unmentioned). Now, I don't quite have the bookie stats for this battle, but I'm sure they would read as Evans being the underdog, as he has rarely recieved the go ahead nod from the odds makers. As far as I personally see this going down, it's really a toss-up: Evans' lightning quick reflexes and superior knockout power against "The Dragon"'s secret ninja style of avoiding any damage. It's too hard to call, boys. We'll have to leave this one to the action.
In the next segment I will discuss the co-main event match up rife with bad blood between former Welterweight champions Matt Hughes and everyone's favorite little Long Island shit kicker, Matt "The Terror" Serra. Stay tuned,..