First of all I dont think the plan was all the poor, it was the execution of that plan that was poor. The plan IMO was to make Machida come forward and be the aggressor so Rashad could pick shots, jab and counter, move Laterally,work off the jab and point his way to a decision.
To me its all about footwork Machida cut the octagon off effectively and Rashad failed to counter strike and even failed to anticipate Machida's intentions. I just think he got caught up in sticking to the game plan even when it clearly was not working.
At the least he looked very uncomfortable with the game plan right from the start, before he was in any trouble of had been hit with anything dangerous.
As for Hughes, I think being not only a fighter but one of the best ever entitles you to be able to speak your opinion. Thats not to say it makes him right but its funny to see some people chide him and act like they know more about the sport just because his opinion is not popular with them.