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UFC 76: Knock Out

MMA Fighting Matchups

Kazuhiro Nakamura (+170) vs. Lyoto Machida (-110)

by Stan Leung
UFC Betting Odds, Lines and Matchup Analysis

Kazuhiro NakamuravsLyoto Machida

UFC 76 Knock Out
Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Lyoto Machida
Saturday September 22, 2007 10PM EST
Nakamura (+170)
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This match will has the potential to be match of the night as both these MMA fighters have great skills in all areas of the game. Kazuhiro Nakamura (11-6) is a Pride veteran and his primary style is judo as he trains out of the dojo of Hidehiko Yoshida.

He currently competes as a middleweight in the PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan and will make his debut in the UFC as a light heavyweight. His Judo skills are off the chart and he can grapple and wrestle with some of the best fighter is the light heavyweight division. Even though most people know him as a great judo fighter he has great striking abilities. Don’t look at his record as his six loses have been against top level fighters like Mauricio Rua, Josh Barnett (40 pounds heavier than him), Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. All of his loses are to MMA fighters in my pound for pound top ten list in MMA. Nakamura has incredible heart and will fight till he can not fight no more and he will want to make a statement for the fans at UFC 76.

He will be fighting Lyoto Machida (10-0) who is undefeated as a mixed martial arts fighter. Machida is the son of a Japanese-Brazilian Shotokan karate master Yoshizo Machida, and is one of the fastest rising stars in MMA. He is very strong for his size and has good standup striking abilities as well as a good ground game. He is very well rounded but not outstanding in one particular aspect. Machida has the ability to adapt to his opponents and at age 29 is ready for a breakout.

I look at Machida’s fights and in most cases he has coasted to victories by decision. He will not be able to do that against Nakamura who constantly presses the attack. His last 3 fights were not impressive as he went the distance with David Heath, Sam Hoger and Vernon White. These are guys he should have just spank and beaten so easily. Will we get the Machida that beat BJ Penn and Rich Franklin or the fighter that was complacent and did just enough to beat less quality fighters?

Bottom Line: I think this will be one hell of a match but I’m taking Nakamura because he has more experience and has fought tougher opponents. Nakamura’s pressing style will baffle Machida because in most cases he is the better fighter. Machida will not be able to take Nakamura down and try to keep his distance because he will be worried about his judo take downs.

Take Nakamura at +170 with a decision win due to his pressing attack

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