On August 4th, 2012, the UFC will roll out their UFC on FOX 4 event from Los Angeles and the Staples Center. The feature bout in the Lightheavyweight division sees Lyoto Machida taking on Ryan Bader.
The UFC is going to have to step up with fights for it’s lightheavyweight class if it expects to have an opponent to face champion Jon Jones after Jones’ next fight. Lyoto, despite dropping 3 of his last 4 matches, is probably still the best bet to threaten Jones, but he is going to need a couple of wins to earn another shot. Bader will likely be the first one. Let’s see why…
After dropping two in a row, Bader has reeled off two wins in the UFC, however one is against Jason Brilz, and the other against a very out of shape Quinton Jackson. Before that, he lost by quick submission to Tito Ortiz, and was thoroughly outclassed by Jon Jones.
Lyoto is coming off a defeat at the hands of Jon Jones as well. Lyoto, by slowing the pace down and fighting in his unorthodox style, may have stolen the opening round from Jones, who has otherwise not lost a round in the UFC.
Lyoto’s uorthodox stand up game will definitely carry the day in a stand up fight with someone like Bader, who hits hard, but is basically still learning the stand up game. Lyoto hits from many angles and adds the kicking aspect very well.
Taking it to the ground will be difficult for Bader as well, as he is going to get hit coming in, and Lyoto has shown good defense against the takedown in his outings.
I doubt this will be a ground fight, but on the ground Bader maybe above to hurt Machida and ground and pound him. The submission game we almost certainly wont see, I give Machida credit for probable superiority, and he should certainly not get submitted by Bader.
Machida comes in a favorite for this fight, and he should win it. Even with this win, Machida will likely need another win before a title shot is earned again.