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Lyoto Machida a Heavy Favorite Over Rashad Evans at UFC 98

When Rashad Evans makes his first defense of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's light heavyweight title at UFC 98, he'll be a big underdog to challenger Lyoto Machida. lists three different sports books taking odds on Evans vs. Machida, and they all have Machida as at least a -200 favorite.

It's rare for an undefeated champion like Evans to be an underdog, but then again it's rare for an undefeated champion to be taking on an opponent like Machida, who isn't just undefeated but has used his elusive style to frustrate opponents and win all his fights rather easily.

In fact, my only question is, given that Machida is a heavy favorite, why don't more MMA rankings reflect the general consensus that Machida is going to beat Evans? My own list of the Top 10 light heavyweights in MMA has Machida first and Evans third, and my MMA Top 10 pound-for-pound has Machida ahead of Evans as well. But I'm in a small minority; almost every ranking on the web has Evans on top.

I sense that a lot of people who do rankings feel the need to put the guy who has the championship belt at the top of the list, but I just don't buy that. I think the rankings should reflect the ranker's own personal opinion, and my own personal opinion is that Machida is better than Evans. The MMA bookmakers agree with me.