The Most Influential UFC Fights V (of V)

By Jake Rossen Jul 10, 2009
Saturday’s UFC 100 card may be subtitled “Making History,” but it’s really more a case of building on a foundation of the fights and fighters that came before. Most stepped in simply to win a fight -- a few wound up changing how we think of the sport.

Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida (UFC 98, May 23, 2009)

Machida can do everything others can do, but he is successful because he can do one thing no one else can do: Using his father Yoshizo’s house blend of karate to parry and feint, he frustrates opponents, leaves them swinging at nothing and emerges from the cage looking as though he has just experienced nothing more than a brutal hot shower.

The wrestler Rashad Evans was supposed to have been the one to drop some reality into Machida’s aspirations -- get rough inside and maybe send them both flying to the canvas -- but it didn’t happen. (He went to the ground, but Machida didn’t follow.)

The Winner: Machida via knockout.

The Lesson: Traditional arts have their place in prizefighting, and the sport is always -- always -- evolving. Saturday’s event, like every show before it, will be less a matter of who won and more an examination of what’s changing. UFC 100 will look nothing like UFC 50; UFC 200 will look nothing like UFC 100. This is combat Darwinism at $44.95 U.S.
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