- 03/09/2009, 04:32PM ET
Gu3: Hip Hip .... PIE said 03/09, 04:32 PM
Once again, I am out of my comfort zone on a TD.
My choice is Lyoto Machida.
Lyoto is 14-0 in the MMA fighting with 4 KO's and 2 submissions. More impressive is the people he has beaten to garner that record.
On March 26th, 2005, Lyoto unanimously defeated BJ Penn whom at the time was 9-1-1. In those 9 wins, Penn had TKO'd 2 opponents and had made 3 of his last 4 opponents tap out. Penn was also helding the Welterweight Championship. Lyoto sent Penn into a downward spiral that was shown in a 4-3 record.
More impressively, on May 24th, 2008, Lyoto beat the superstar that is Tito Ortiz. Tito had beat such fighters as Ken and Frank Shamrock, Forrest Griffin, Wanderlei Silva, and Evan Tanner. In beating Tito, Lyoto joined fighters like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Guy Mezger, and Frank Shamrock as the only one to beat Tito.
Most recently, on January 31, 2008, Lyoto beat Thiago Silva. Before the fight, Thiago was 13-0 with 10 KOs and 2 submissions. Also, before the Lyoto fight, Thiago had KO'd his opponent in 7 of his last 8 fights.
Lyoto Machida should not be overlooked with his 14-0 record. His wins over Tito, Silva, and Penn are impressive.
Somebody of Note said 03/09, 07:24 PM
Machida is an incredible fighter. You'll get absolutely no argument from me there. In fact, there's no denying that my guy is a less talented P4P fighter than The Dragon.
However, you have to look at the title. It says the "Most Underrated Fighter". In this regard, Machida falls short. He gets more than plenty of recognition inside the MMA community, and he is even recognized by outsiders.
Case in point: You yourself said "I am stepping out of my comfort zone here"... and proceeded to pick Machida.
My selection is none other than a very unheralded fighter, who gets very little publicity, and who the casual sports fan has no idea of. Yet, despite that, he has an extremely impressive 23-4 record in a tough 185 lbs division featuring the legendary Anderson "The Spider" Silva.
Funny I mention Silva... because this man was the last to defeat him. Ever since Silva lost to this man, he has won nine straight fights, with none of them going to a decision.
This man also has other impressive victories. His last win was over Dean Lister, while fighting UP a weight class. Ask BJ Penn how difficult it is to win in that event.
Yet, he gets no pub.
This man is Yushin Okami.
Gu3: Hip Hip .... PIE said 03/09, 08:52 PM
Who has Okami really beaten? Evan Tanner, and that is about it.
Sure, it shows up on his record a win over Anderson Silva. But he didn't really "beat" Silva. Silva was DQ'd in the fight for an illegal kick to the head.
Okami was given a real shot at beating a good fighter in Rich Franklin on June 16th, 2007. Franklin beat him in a unanimous decision.
On the other hand, Lyoto has beaten impressive fighters. Let me put it into perspective. From May 3rd, 2003 to March 9th, 2009, Lyoto has faced BJ Penn, Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva, and Rich Franklin and has not lost a fight. That is 14 straight matches without losing. FOURTEEN!
Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson, and Anderson Silva all never won 14 straight fights. Not even Royce Gracie won 14 straight fights. That is some elite company that Lyoto is in.
Between BJ Penn, Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva, and Rich Franklin, that is a record of 65-12 (excluding their losses to Lyoto). Hell, people often call Tito Ortiz the best MMA fighter of all time. Lyoto BEAT him.
The bottom line is, Okami has not beaten any good fighters on the level of what Lyoto has beaten.
Somebody of Note said 03/09, 09:46 PM
Did I ever once say that Okami was the better fighter than Machida? No. The Throwdown isn't about who's better pound for pound-for-pound, it's about who's more underrated. In this regard, Machida falls far short.
First of all, your assessment that Tito Ortiz is the greatest MMA fighter of all-time is so off-base, it isn't even funny. Actually, it is a little funny. Good luck arguing Tito over Fedor, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Bas Rutten, Dan Severn, and the Shamrock brothers. Beating a 15-6 fighter in the twilight of his career is not an achievement to crow about. Tito was just a bad boy who got hyped.
But back to the underrated debate. It's already well known that Machida is far less heralded than Okami, but the proof is in the pudding. A simple search on SI.com reveals five articles about him in March, four in February, and five primarily concerning him. With Okami, however, there are only five article including his name (all uses peripheral) since mid-January. There isn't a single article with the name Okami in the title.
This is criminal for a fighter that has been nothing but dominant. He's in a high-profile division, with wins over Silva, Tanner, and Dean Lister.
Gu3: Hip Hip .... PIE said 03/10, 09:00 PM
I understand what we are arguing in this TD. But, the fact that Lyoto has beaten such good fighters and still remains unknown to much of the world, its impressive.
Think about this: Lyoto has NEVER had a title shot in the UFC. NEVER. He is 14-0 and was not ever given a world title shot. Yes, even while beating fighters who have held championships, he has not received a shot himself. If that isn't unrecognized, I don't know what is.
Sherdog.com has Okami ranked 8th overall in the WORLD in the middleweight division. He is being recognized there as 8th overall in his weight class in the WORLD.
"This is criminal for a fighter that has been nothing but dominant. He's in a high-profile division, with wins over Silva, Tanner, and Dean Lister."
It is even more criminal for a fighter who has wins over BETTER fighters like Thiago Silva, Tito Ortiz, and BJ Penn.
Somebody of Note said 03/10, 11:08 PM
Lyoto has never had a title shot? Hmm. I guess the fact that he's slated to fight the winner of Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson (or, in a likely event, Rashad Evans himself) at UFC 98 for the TITLE means nothing to you.
And you talk about recognition... and fail to recognize that Sherdog has Machida ranked 4th among the member of HIS weight class, light heavyweight, in the world.
Lyoto is not unknown. The very fact that you brought him up, a person who has never seen UFC before, dispels that. The fact that Sports Illustrated recognizes him as one of the world's top four Pound for Pound fighters dispels that. The fact that Machida has been given matchups against big draws such as Tito Ortiz and BJ Penn dispels that (and the win over BJ was when Penn was fighting up TWO weight classes).
For what Okami does, he doesn't get nearly enough recognition. The fact that he faced Silva, won, and didn't get KO'd or submitted like the two guys before him and the 9 guys after him is outstanding. The fact that he's one of only two to KO Tanner (the other was a heavier fighter) is incredible. The fact that he's 23-4 and still hasn't received a title shot or any publicity is criminal.
- Awful Announcing
- Free Darko
- Pro Football Talk
- The Big Lead
- Joe Posnanski
- The Sporting Blog
- Big League Stew
- Bugs and Cranks
- Every day Should Be Saturday
- Mr. Irrelevant
- With Leather
- The Sports Hernia