original link: UFC on Fox 4 Judo Chop: Is Lyoto Machida Ready for Jon Jones? - Bloody Elbow UFC on Fox 4 may have been the card of the year and a return to form for the UFC after several awful cards. The night produced a war between Mauricio Rua and Brandon Vera which, aside from being entertaining, only served to show how far Shogun has slipped. Shogun's surgeries, wars and age have all slowed him down to the point where his poor form on the feet is getting him beaten up by fighters who don't belong in the top 20 of the division. We were also treated to another spectacular performance by Lyoto Machida last night as he starched Ryan Bader with the what seemed like the second significant punch that he threw. The performance was vintage Machida in that his opponent had no idea how to deal with him. I'll get the burning question out of the way first. Did Machida show anything that said a fight with Jon Jones would go any differently? No. The reason he was knocked down and subsequently guillotined by Jones was his diving in counters with his non-punching hand out of position. What did we see last night? A spectacular Lyoto Machida counter, with his non-punching hand out of position. If Jones establishes his kicks and then attacks Machida with the superman hook from the same stance, the exact same thing will happen because Machida's non-punching side is so open to attack. However it's worth taking a look at this counter and some of the counters that we have already examined to establish just how good Machida's timing and distancing is. Today we'll compare Lyoto's same stance counter against Jones and against Bader. Against Ryan Bader, Lyoto Machida maintained the distance between them for almost the entire fight - aside from a brief clinch. Closing the distance is the hardest part in any striking discipline, and Machida's distancing forces opponents to cross an exaggerated distance to reach him. Even Mike Tyson got clipped coming in, and he, unlike Bader, had great head movement. Ryan Bader simply did nothing for the first round, except eat a slapping roundhouse kick from Machida, but in the second round finally lost his patience. He bum-rushed Machida with his right hand cocked at shoulder height and no head movement, in exactly the same way that Urijah Faber dropped Dominick Cruz. Unlike Cruz, however, Machida expects people to run at him and in fact wants it. As Bader ran forward with his head up, Machida leaped forward (in the same stance) with a right straight. Lyoto's lead arm was fortunately in the position to take the power off of Bader's punch, but Lyoto still got clipped, as you will notice in the bottom right frame. (G) (G) Clearly Machida is making more an effort to keep his non-punching hand up but Jones' rear hook would have connected just the same around Machida's lead arm. It was more Bader's punch moving in on a line rather than a curve that allowed Lyoto to block Bader's power. Of course it helps that Bader was running face first onto Machida's punch and has a suspect chin, but it is clear that Machida knows that dropping his non-punching hand got him knocked out against Jones. My concern with Machida's rematch with Jones is the same as my gripe with Cain Velasquez's rematch with Junior dos Santos. One fight is not a long time to change fundamental errors. Machida showed very little improvement in his game in this fight. As much as fans will continue to talk about the couple of pounds that he lost for the fight, or the "new Machida", he showed exactly the same skill set that he has in other fights - Bader just wasn't a good enough opponent to have an answer.