The UFC 163 card scheduled for August 3rd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil pits 205 pounders Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida in a fight that should result in a title shot for the winner. This is a step up fight of sorts for Davis, who has flown under the radar with regards to the title picture until now. Machida has fought for the title, and to his credit, has probably the only round won against Champion Jon Jones, however he has turned down subsequent rematches and at times seems content as a contender. Lyoto sits about a 4-1 favorite at the books, so Davis as an underdog deserves a look.
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Davis is a wrestler by trade, and an awesome athlete, and those will be his advantages. he is going to need to ground Machida, as a stand up fight favors the Brazilian heavily.
Machida has a unique, diversified attack on the feet that will take Davis out over a three round fight. Despite his resume and pedigree, we have yet to see Machida operate off his back, especially while defending. That is what Davis needs to do – get Machida off his feet and he needs to let the damage accumulate from there.
Lyoto has been in a series of top level matches, most recently doing just enough to beat veteran star Dan Henderson by Split Decision.
Machida was in the Henderson fight because he turned down another shot at Jones on short notice. This is befuddling, because Machida is a very complete fighter who is one of a core of elite fighters throughout the world. What in the world more is he going to learn to fight Jones. I have news for Machida, hanging out with Steven Seagal may up your Q score, but the guy is a laughing stock to real martial artists, and he is unlikely to teach you anything new. Maybe next time he will take the shot.
Davis has a very refined way to win this fight – ground Machida and hit him until it is over. Unfortunately for him, all other scenarios point to a Machida win.