MMA: UFC 104 Controversy – Fan’s POV

A poster from wrote this on his thread. I thought I’d share it with you because he saw the fight Live, and then re-watched it on TV afterwards. He explained who he thought won the fight and why.

Thanks to Sherdog for these pictures.

 MMA: UFC 104 Controversy   Fans POV

Written by Cokane

A few months ago I decided to splash out and go to LA with my girlfriend for UFC 104. We bought the best tickets available, booked a gorgeous hotel on Sunset Boulevard, and flew first class across the atlantic and basically had a fantastic (but costly) holiday – and damn LA is big if you aren’t using a car – those taxi fares sting.

Have to say I love America – the food portions are just fucking nuts. I would order a starter and get so much that I couldn’t even finish the thing or even have room to even start the main course. The whole tipping culture is a bit weird imo – tips should only be given if the bastard deserves it – not automatically but that’s just a small gripe. Univeral Studios was amazing too, but I digress.

UFC 104 was my first ever live UFC event and I loved it. The weigh ins sucked balls. Queued for 30 minutes in the blazing sun and then got herded into a big tent with no tiered seating or organized standing. The undercard fights were ok (not great), with Barry vs Hardonk standing out, and the atmosphere inside the arena was just fantastic (helped by a fucking unbelievable sound system – Rothwell’s entrance music was class – anyone know the track name?). But of course the fight we wanted to see was Machida Vs Shogun.

 MMA: UFC 104 Controversy   Fans POV

Prior to this fight I didn’t really rate Shogun’s chances in this contest. I believed the bookmaker odds on him winning the fight were entirely appropriate given his past UFC performances – he was rightly the big underdog. I didn’t rule him out, but I expected Machida to soundly beat him. So, at the outset I am happy to admit I was entirely wrong about this. Although I still stand by the reasoning as to why I didn’t rate his chances prior to the fight (unproven cardio and generally unconvincing displays in the UFC), it is clear from his performance in UFC 104 that Shogun is a serious force to be reckoned with, which is great for him, great for the UFC LHW division, and great for us as fans. He looked in great shape and was in better physical condition than the champ – so great credit where it is due – Shogun is back.

Now, on to the fight itself and the controversy and my opinions on it from the way I saw it from the great seats we had. Let me first say that I was surrounded by Shogun fans. Every time both fighters struck each other simultaneously (which was a lot with Shoguns kicks getting straight counter-punched) these guys almost deafened me but didn’t seem to notice that a lot of the time both fighters landed clean strikes, not just their man Shogun.

When I watched the fight live, I did not attempt to ‘score’ rounds in the way the judges did. I simply watched and tried to enjoy the spectacle. I thought this was one of the most interesting, gruelling and technical MMA bouts I have ever seen. When it ended I didn’t really know who won. My gut feeling, and the fighter’s body language at the end etc was that the fight went to Shogun on a split decision. Although all the ‘Ohhhh that hurt’ crowd exclamations in the arena throughout the fight came from Machida attacks (particularly the numerous knees to Shoguns body – the type that downed Ortiz but Shogun repeatedly absorbed) I still felt that Shogun would shade the decision. I would  have been unsurprised had the fight been scored a dead draw, or a Machida split decision. Needless to say I was elated when I heard that Machida got the UA, as I am a big Machida fan – but despite the fact that he got it, I totally understood the booing from the Shogun fans. It was an unbelievably close fight and I wasn’t sure that the judge’s decisions were the correct ones – I was delighted that Machida won, but uneasy if it was the right decision.

 MMA: UFC 104 Controversy   Fans POV

Anyway, I arrived back in Scotland tonight, and somewhat hesitantly sat down to watch the fight again from our DVR sky+ recording. Honestly, I expected to see a defeat for Machida in the replay, as I was sure that my feeling, my gut reaction when I watched the fight live was correct. However, I was wrong.

I don’t want to upset the bruised Shogun fans out there but…

Lyoto Machida deserved to win this fight
– the unanimous decision was utterly accurate having rewatched the fight recording.

As I watched it second time around, I watched it and attempted to score it as a ringside judge would, and I came up with a 48 – 47 decision for Machida – as all three of the judges did. After watching it again, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Machida won the first three rounds, each by a reasonable margin. Although both fighters do a fair bit of damage to each other in these rounds, all of the most effective landing shots seem to come from Machida’s knees, body kicks, and head counters. Shogun also lands a fair amount in all three rounds, but the vast majority of his attacks are missed or glancing blows and for every clean landing Shogun strikes, there seems to be two from Machida. (I have seen the fight metric report and it seems perverse to me as though its about a totally different fight – the vast majority of Shogun’s attacks only partially landed, were blocked, or missed outright).

I gave the fourth round absolutely 100% to Shogun as Machida did very little in this round and Shogun landed two clean, damaging strikes. The fifth round is very close indeed but again I gave it to Shogun for his attacks being the most damaging, even though I think both fighters landed an equal amount of clean strikes.

 MMA: UFC 104 Controversy   Fans POV

Let me also add that the commentary from Rogan and Goldberg is hilariously skewed. I was literally astonished to hear Rogan wax lyrical about Shogun every time the two fighters came together in a clash even though, in 70% of the cases, Machida clearly got the better of these clashes with clean, straight head strikes or knees to the abdomen. It was as if they were so surprised to see Machida in a competitive fight that they stopped noticing the Machida attacks that were landing regularly and in a forceful manner. I expected this from the dozen Shogun fans around me, and I think this may have swayed my initial viewing of the fight when watching live but not from Rogan, whose commentary I usually regard as excellent. Rogan and Goldberg were way out on this one.

Finally, I think a rematch is absolutely the correct option. Although I believe Machida deserved the Unanimous Decision, this was an exceptionally close fight and I understand and empathise with Shogun, his team and those who feel he won. Talk of a ‘robbery’ is way wide of the mark however. I feel that Machida is still very much the legitimate champion and holds a legitimate perfect record…

oh, and LA rocks.

 MMA: UFC 104 Controversy   Fans POV

End of Write-up.

My Notes:

Thanks to Cokane for the write-up. I agree with his final judgement here, when I first watched the fight on PPV, I was 100% sure that Shogun won. Then, I thought how could 3 Judges score the same for Machida. So, I re-watched the fight without Joe Rogan’s commentary, and I’d have to agree that Machida takes the cake. He fights backwards because that’s his style, he’s not running away. He had good Octagon control, and landed some clean flying knees. Needless to say, Shogun took those knees like it was nothing, but those were hard knees. On the other hand, Shogun landed leg kicks, but many were glancing hits.

pixel MMA: UFC 104 Controversy   Fans POV

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