According to a poll on the Tatame magazine Web site, 59 percent of the Brazilian fans believe that Shogun won the fight. That percentage clearly grows, however, if you take into consideration the professionals.
Marcelo Alonso had the opportunity to talk with several top Brazilian fighters and trainers, and the results follow.
Demian Maia: “It was a pretty even fight. They could have decided for a draw. The same way the judges call attention when the fighters like to fight on the ground too much, I think they should do the same to the fighter who walks backwards. People say that to take the belt from the champion, the fighter has to be clearly superior. In that case, they should have decided a draw, so Lyoto could keep the belt.”
Sergio Cunha (Brett Rogers’ trainer): “In my opinion, Shogun lost the first and second and won the third, fourth and fifth round. He looked for the win all the time and scored more points, so he clearly deserved to win.”
Luiz Alves (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s muay Thai trainer): “I think the judges were not there. Shogun was much more aggressive, mainly in the first three rounds, so I think he should have won.”
Wanderlei Silva: “I couldn’t believe they gave the win to Lyoto. Besides being more aggressive, Shogun was more effective. UFC should review their judgment system. There isn’t anything worse to a fighter than training hard and losing a fight like that. The championship belt should be with Shogun now.”
Royce Gracie: “It would be a pleasure to talk about that because I’m a big fan of Machida and I like his strategic way of fighting, but I could not see the fight yet. I’m here in Oklahoma doing a series of seminars for the police.”
Marcus "Conan" Silveira: “Concerning a points score, Shogun won, but I don’t think he was efficient enough to be the new UFC champion. In the level that the sport is today, to rob the champion’s belt you have to be clearly superior. In other words, make him tap or knock him out.”
Vitor Belfort: “I don’t like that idea that to beat the champion you have to be way superior. To beat the champion, you only have to win. It doesn’t matter how, just a victory, even when the level of the fighters is very high today. I think Shogun hit more and deserved to win.”
Anderson Silva: “I already said that Shogun did a great fight and I applaud him for the amazing fight he did, but in my opinion the leg kicks were not enough to decide the fight. Lyoto was more efficient, and in my opinion he won every round.”
Josuel Distak (Anderson Silva’s trainer): “In my opinion, I think it was a draw. I think Lyoto won the first and second round and started to lose after half of the third round. Shogun won the fourth and fifth round, so I think the draw would be fair. But the big winners were the fans because I’m sure the rematch will be an unforgettable battle.”
Bebeo Duarte (former Brazilian Top Team trainer): “The draw would be more fair. Shogun was a great surprise; he fought like in Pride times. On the other hand, Lyoto disappointed the fans a little bit. But if you forget about that feeling and just think about the fight, Lyoto was superior in the first two rounds. The third was pretty equal and Shogun won the fourth and fifth, so I believe the draw would be best in this case.”
Antonio Silva: “I was cheering for Lyoto Machida, even when I want to see a rematch between him and my training partner Thiago Silva. But I couldn’t understand what the judges were looking at to give the win to Lyoto. I’m sure Shogun won that fight.”