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Assuming Jon Jones defeats Dan Henderson at UFC 151, do you believe Lyoto Machida will have more success against Jon Jones in a rematch? Or will the outcome be similar to their first bout?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Leave it to me and me alone to sniff out a trick question. Actually, there are two questions here. Do I believe Machida will have more success this time around; I do indeed. But I also believe that the bout will in in very sudden fashion, just like the first bout.
Look. Of the four "contenders" who were given a chance to impress the great Caesar, Machida was the only one of the four gladiators to have a diverse enough arsenal to bring something to Jones in a rematch that wasn't seen in the first fight. As a result, he's the most likely guy to do something unexpected to the champ. Of course, once Jones figures it out Machida is going to wake up asking everyone what happened.
So, yes. Machida could very well have more success against Jon Jones this time aroun until the moment he doesn't.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I think if it is Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida II, the outcome will be similar, if not a little more boring. Machida arguably has had the most success against Jones, but after letting Jones choke him out in their last fight, I see Machida employing an even more cautious game plan that'll drag the fight out all five rounds. Jones will win again, but more likely via decision due to the methodical and cautious fighting of Machida.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I am of the opinion Machida Jones II will be like the first fight. Machida did an excellent job in the first round of the first fight. He fought the perfect fight for five minutes. Machida would have to be perfect for 25 minutes in order to win against Jones. Jones is too fast and too powerful an opponent for Machida to win against. I am picking Jones via KO in the second round.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I think Lyoto learned some things from his experience in the cage against Jones in their first fight, and although I fully expect the same outcome I do believe that Machida will try some different angles and strategies against the champ; if, of course, Jones gets past Hendo first. I would be more inclined to think that a second bout between Jones and Machida would go to a decision or be a very fantastic knockout.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I know people often over-analyze fights, but I think people who anticipate a Jones-Machida rematch being some sort of one-sided domination are guilty of under-analyzing.
Lyoto Machida was not an easy opponent for Jon Jones by any stretch. Most people had Machida winning the first round, even if two of the three judges disagreed. Jones was simply able to get a quick takedown and damage Machida with an elbow that changed the momentum of the fight and led to the finish.
Because the fight ended the way it did, people will probably do the whole "Jones wins X times out of 10," but I'm not convinced of that based on their first fight. I can't say with any confidence that Lyoto Machida wins this time but I expect another competitive fight and another good showing for "The Dragon."
SHAWN ENNIS, MMATORCH SENIOR COLUMNIST
First off, I think it's probably safe to assume that Jones will beat Dan Henderson (or as Rich Hansen calls him, "Dan Henderson's right hand") at UFC 151. So with that out of the way, I think Machida is the most likely of the potential contenders at the UFC on FOX card to be able to look at his performance and make adjustments in response to what happened the first time out. That having been said, I don't think the outcome will be all that different. The funny thing about their first fight, and about this matchup in general is that Machida was winning the fight at range, and things really started to go downhill when Jones, he of the freakish reach, closed the distance and got Machida on his back for a minute. So really if Machida is able to keep the fight at a distance where he's comfortable darting in and out of danger, similar to what he did in the first round, he's got a shot. The problem with that, however, is twofold: First, how realistic is it that Machida can do that for five rounds? (Not very). Second, the way Jon Jones improves from fight to fight, he may have figured out how to deal with what Machida did to him in the first round of their first fight. This will be Jones's first rematch, so depending on what adjustments Machida makes it'll be interesting to see how Jones reacts to fighting the same opponent. But like I said originally, I think Jones wins the fight.
[Lyoto Machida art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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