UFC Quick Quote: Bad coaching, not sheer awesomeness, the reason Rashad Evans lost to Lyoto Machida

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SmileR
5/30/09 12:52:05PM
“I went back and watched the Rashad fight again, and I think it comes down to bad coaching. In the prefight press conference, I heard Rashad say that he didn’t bring anybody in who would resemble Machida’s style. When I heard that, I knew that there might be some problems. That is probably a big reason why Rashad didn’t do very well in the striking area. I also think Rashad should have been coached on using his wrestling talent. He didn’t shoot one takedown that I can remember and he just made it a sparring match. If I was to coach Rashad against Machida, I would have told him to make it a fight, use his wrestling and groundwork to really dictate the match. Not just go out and spar with him. I think Rashad could have done a lot better in that fight. I’m not saying he should have won, but he’s a lot better than he showed on Saturday.”

– Matt Hughes shares his thoughts via his personal blog about the main event fight between Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 on May 23. “The Dragon” looked phenomenal, taking out “Sugar” in the second round with a lethal explosion of strikes that separated the champion from consciousness for the first time ever in his previously unbeaten career. Hughes chalks the loss up to bad coaching and a poor strategy going into the fight. And he’s not the only one — Shawn Tompkins, the head trainer at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, told CageWriter.com that Machida is “far from unbeatable” and Rashad “gave Lyoto everything he needed to make himself look invincible” by failing to close the distance and use his strong wrestling skills. So is Machida really as good as he looked last weekend or does Evans’ head trainer, Greg Jackson, deserve some of the credit?



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seanfu
5/30/09 1:14:25PM
Yeah, because Tito took him down so many times.
941_Florida_Boy
5/30/09 1:46:31PM
Just b/c Hughes didnt face a talented striker and Rashad did.....but ya know what....EVERYBODY is a critic nowadays

Machida is that good....nobody
Jackelope
5/30/09 2:35:36PM
Hughes is going to get a lot of criticism for this just because of who he is.

If you can cast that aside for a moment- what do you really think about what he said? I mean, he may have a legitimate point here. I think Lyoto would beat Rashad either way, but perhaps shooting a few times wouldn't have been a bad idea. It can change the dynamics of the striking game completely.
isk
5/30/09 2:51:50PM
It's hard to say because we don't know the extent of Evans' strategy. Maybe the plan was to stay on the feet for a while and shoot for a takedown later. Going in I liked Machida's chances but I didn't expect Machida to capitalize so decisively nor for Rashad to look so foolish in the standup.

I do agree that working a ground game could've changed things, but the counter to that is Machida's ability to read posture and react accordingly. Homeboy's had experience with grappling and the clinch game, so I can see him not only avoiding the takedown but punishing Rashad when he shoots in.
Natedogg42
5/30/09 3:19:12PM
It's easy in hindsight to question Evens strategy, but I don't think there was anything wrong with it.

Hughes is right about bringing in someone who can try to match Lyotos striking skills, but finding someone with those skills isn't going to be easy.

As far as trying to take Lyoto down, He denied 85% of take downs going into the fight. So maybe there was a chance of taking it to the ground, but more likely Evens would have been wasting energy and losing points. If he was planning on taking down Machida it makes sense to me to wait until deeper in the fight when maybe it's a little less expected and maybe Machida would be a little more tired.

Who knows, maybe that was the plan, Evens just didn't survive long enough to execute.
Jackelope
5/30/09 3:24:27PM
I don't disagree with you guys at all. I'm only playing devil's advocate here- Aren't taking your chances against 85% successful takedown defense better than playing your chances against 99% successful striking? LOL, I mean with Machida it becomes a pick your poison type deal.

Granted the chances of ending the fight with a good punch are much better than ending it with a good takedown, but you'd at least like to see Rashad mix it up a bit to keep Lyoto guessing and to at least keep him honest where it comes to throwing head kicks.
scobac
5/30/09 3:25:34PM
Read the rules please.... Mod Telnights
postman
5/30/09 3:39:24PM
I agrre with what Matt is saying I just think his delivery was off. I'm not much for talking bad about others and Greg Jackson didn't deserve that. But what makes Rashad great is his foot work speed and threat of both his hands and takedowns he needed to faint more luring Machida to counter then counter his counter. He should have followed some flurries with takedown attempts. But hindsite is 20 20 and history is just that.
Pookie
5/30/09 4:04:43PM
I think rashad would have just gassed himself trying to go in for the takedown repeatedly
tlangley
5/30/09 4:05:35PM
I think the gameplan was for rashad to use his wrestling in the later rounds.
Giant_Ochai
5/30/09 4:35:19PM
Coaching gets blamed for a lot these days. There were no coaches fighting Lyoto, just Rashad Evans. Rashad Evans got wrecked brutally.
Kpro
5/30/09 4:41:39PM
I would've used the term bad gameplan instead of bad coaching if I were Hughes but hey the guy knows how to not make friends.

I agree with Pookie that shooting would've made Rashad gas (i feel extremely strongly that Griffin would've beaten Rashad, had that fight gone 5); he just doesn't have the gas tank to outlast 3/4's of UFC 205ers.

It looked like he was trying to conserve energy for a 5 round fight, and maybe bullrush at the end; but to make it that far, Hughes is correct, he should've brought in someone to mirror Machida's style.

I can only hope that in his next fight, the KO comes WHILE he's grabbing his crotch.
Giant_Ochai
5/30/09 4:47:37PM
There are no Machida clones, just people who can't mimic him.
slapshot
5/30/09 8:14:08PM
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.

joshd
5/30/09 8:17:12PM
if tito couldnt take him down, neither could rashad
mshalosky
5/30/09 9:46:50PM
I completely disagree gregg jackson is the best coach in all of mma. This is why the tapout crew calls him genghis khan. this guy is a mma genious and he would nvr go in without the best strategy. I mean just look at all the top lvl fighters that go to his gym. And to add to that tito tried to take machida down over and over and machida just threw him off. With machidas elusive style and experience in sumo he is near if not impossible to take down. I beleive machidas takedown defence may be better than a prime chuck liddell. I think the ufc and the fans just hyped rashad up way to much. Like half his wins came by split decision and in the fight with forrest he had lost the first two rounds before knockin him out in the 3rd and everyone knows that forrest has no ground striking defence. for this criticism hughes will be punished by the media and i think he deserves to be. Rashad is good but is not quite on the lvl of other top fighters in the light heavyweight division imo.

-long live the king -
Sir_Karl
5/30/09 11:30:11PM
Machida is that good AND Evans fought the wrong fight.
I am not sure there is a right way to fight Lyoto though.
I am pretty sure he can handle anything and anyone that comes his way.


The Dragon rules the world!





Loot613
5/31/09 5:17:50AM
I think Hughes gameplan vs. Thiago Alves was very bad... His coach should take all the blame....
mentalcase
5/31/09 6:06:07AM
when a fighter loses it not their fault its the coaches fault
prozacnation1978
5/31/09 9:08:43AM
here come the excuses why is it that it seems in every other match the loser always makes a excuse
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