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UFC 98: What Tito Ortiz Can Teach Us About Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans



This video of Dana White talking about Lyoto Machida is seven months old, but in some ways that makes it more interesting to watch today, because when White was discussing the way both Machida and Rashad Evans fought Tito Ortiz, he had no idea that he'd be promoting a Machida-Evans main event at UFC 98.

White said in the interview that he thought Machida might become the best pound-for-pound fighter in MMA, and then he discussed Machida's dominant unanimous decision win over Ortiz, contrasting it with Evans' draw against Ortiz.

"He just fought Tito Ortiz," White said of Machida. "Tito Ortiz didn't take him down once. Tito Ortiz is a wrestler. That's all Tito can do. ... Not only did he not take Lyoto Machida down, Lyoto Machida threw him around like he was a little kid. And you ask anybody who's ever fought Tito Ortiz -- Rashad Evans ... said he couldn't believe how strong Tito Ortiz was when Tito grabbed on to him. Lyoto Machida threw him around like he was nothing. Lyoto Machida is extremely talented."

I think that's an important point. Machida came to MMA from a style of karate that focuses heavily on foot movement and evasiveness, whereas Evans came to MMA from college wrestling. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Evans will want to clinch and try to take Machida to the ground, because I think Machida is physically stronger than Evans, and I think Machida has better submission skills on the ground than Evans.

I don't think the mere fact that Machida beat Ortiz while Evans only fought him to a draw means that Machida is a better fighter than Evans. But I do think that when you look at each fighter's fight with Ortiz, it's hard not to come awayfrom those fights picking Machida.