Randy “The Natural” Couture and Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort are the latest MMA superstars to chime in on who won the UFC 104 main event fight between UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, a victory both feel should have went to the challenger.
“Everyone that I spoke thinks that Shogun won,” Belfort noted to Tatame.com.
“It was pretty close,” Couture stated in an interview with MMA Fanhouse. “Who knows what the judges are seeing? Robbed? I don’t know about robbed. I thought it was four rounds to one for Shogun, but it was a very close fight and you just never know what the judges are looking at. Unfortunately, that’s the fight game sometimes when it’s that close.”
While all three judges scored the fight 48-47 for Machida, Couture had it 49-46 for Shogun, which is how we here at FightLine.com scored the bout.
“I thought Shogun came out with an interesting game plan, stuck to it, and it proved to be pretty effective,” Couture said. “I thought his leg kicks controlled the tempo and did the most damage. I was surprised by the judges’ decision — I thought it went the other way — but it was a great fight.”
Couture noted that he didn’t feel that the scoring system needed to be changed, but that experienced judges need to be scoring the bouts.
“The scoring system is fine,” Couture explained. “Finding judges who know exactly what they’re scoring, what they’re looking at and what they’re judging on is what we need. MMA is still so new that a lot of the judges are crossing over from other combative sports and don’t have a lot of competitive background themselves, and it’s hard to say what they’re focused on and what they’re looking at.”
Belfort, however, disagreed.
“UFC judges aren’t good to judge,” he stated. “To beat the champion, you only have to win, it doesn’t matter how. It doesn’t have to be a convincing victory, just a victory, even more in a fight like this one, when the level of the fighters is very high, it’s gonna be a tough decision and who deserves to win is the champion. I think Shogun hit more, but sometimes the champion goes there thinking that he doesn’t have to do much to win, because he’s already the champion, and it makes a bad fight.”
Both men noted that they would like to see a rematch, and hopefully we won’t have to wait long for that to happen. UFC President Dana White noted he is working on making the rematch as fast as he can.