Can Shogun beat Lyoto Machida?
The odds aren't in his favor. Right now, the line on the Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Lyoto Machida fight for the light heavyweight title is Mauricio Rua (+375) vs. Lyoto Machida (-550). If you're not a degenerate gambler, like I used to be, this essentially means Machida is a heavy favorite.
It's hard to disagree because Shogun hasn't looked overly impressive in any of his fights in the UFC. He was a legend in PRIDE and if that Shogun was in this fight, it might be more even. But with the unpredictability of what we'll get from Shogun, shouldn't he at least be given better odds? He was once considered the top light heavyweight fighter in the world by some analysts.
In the UFC, he lost to Forrest Griffin and was injury plagued until beating Mark Coleman more than a year later. Both his UFC wins, over Coleman and Liddell, aren't over guys exactly in their prime. Or even close to it.
Machida, on the other hand, has been fantastic lately. He's shaken the unfair label of being a "boring" fighter by winning the knockout of the night honors in his last two bouts, taking down Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans. Machida is near the top of his game, and it's not really known where Rua is.
Smart money is on Machida, but is anyone going to back Rua?