UFC 84 Tito Ortiz vs Lyoto Machida
The feud between Tito Ortiz and Dana White has risen to an all time high with both guys taking shots at each other in the media and not hiding any fact that they truly despise each other. Unfortunately or fortunately for Lyoto Machida, there is less talk about Machida vs Ortiz, then what is going to happen between Ortiz and White. Either the pressure will bring Tito to the form he needs to be at to be successful or it will prove too much and he will falter under pressure. This is also Machida’s biggest fight and test to date, and he must have an enormous amount of pressure on himself to beat Tito and send him packing to another organization to seek the glory he once had.
Dana has been absent from all UFC activities the past few days possibly to take the focus off of his feud with Tito and let the fight sell itself. It’s odd that Dana would hide from the spotlight, and some suggest it’s possible something serious is wrong for him to miss the past 2 press conferences and weigh-ins. Time will tell and tonight should provide some very interesting entertainment and if Tito pulls off the victory, his post fight interview will be much anticipated as he came out at the weigh-ins with the return of his opinion on his shirts. This shirt had “Dana is my Bitch!” Possibly Dana has something in store for tonight during the PPV, or maybe nothing will happen? I’m definitely not leaving my seat before during or after this fight at any point.
Tito needs to stay motivated and focused on the task at hand. He claims this is his last fight for the UFC as long as Dana White is involved with them. He does best when he gets to be the bully, and that is exactly what he needs to do tonight to achieve victory. He needs to be in Machida’s face at every moment, and gain that top position and do what he does best, Smash people with elbows! The pressure is when Tito is at his best, and unless he is looking past the undefeated Lyoto he should be in top form tonight.
Lyoto needs to be able to step up and prove that he is championship material. He is training really hard and working with Bob Cook out of AKA, which is a great camp and is definitely at a world class level for skills and experience. He just misses the highest level competition and this is where his path will be defined. Can he be effective and get Tito to crack under the pressure. That is his biggest task, to weather Tito’s storm, frustrate him, and capitalize on mistakes. If he can make Tito give up on himself he can win by submission, but if he doesn’t, he will find that the combination of the pressure, hype and Tito Ortiz beating on him will prove too much and he’ll have to re-evaluate his strategy if he plans on continuing his rise in the light heavy weight division.
My prediction for this fight is that Tito looks as good as he’s ever looked. He is motivated and really wants to shine so he can get the best deal possible when he re-signs with another organization. His future price tag is riding on it, but Machida can not be counted out, and despite Ortiz being the former champ, Machida is the favorite on the books. Ortiz should be able to control the pace and positioning in this fight, and will win by TKO if he can get Machida to break mentally, and if not, he’ll ride out the victory and win the fight by decision.