It was definitely too soon.
Last night, at UFC Fight Night 70 in Florida, former light-heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida took on Olympic wrestler Yoel Romero, and after two rounds of typical elusiveness, the “Dragon” was suddenly unconscious on the canvas, the victim of a takedown and a hellacious flurry of elbows.
Just two months prior, Machida fell prey to the onslaught of Luke Rockhold at UFC on FOX 15, and though the official result to that one was Rockhold via submission, what precipitated the end was the American whacking the Brazilian so hard in the dome he was on Queer Street, and he was never able to recover.
It seems that last night Machida needed still more time to recover from the Rockhold beating.
Normally, after two such poor performances, I’d suggest that a fighter with such a lengthy resume might consider retiring. But I don’t feel that’s the case with Machida. He’s still a dangerous and capable fighter who could conceivably string together wins and make another run at the title. No, instead, he should take a freakin’ vacation.
Seriously, too many hits to the brain is turning him into Chuck Liddell, and no fighter should enter the Octagon with an “off” switch so within reach.
Moving to middleweight and the success he found there was great, and there is likely more greatness that awaits him. But the Dragon needs to chill for a bit, take at least half a year off, and let the snow globe that is his grey matter settle. Otherwise, we will have to talk about his retirement.
And that would be a shame.