He was always a step ahead. I just couldn’t get started.
Gegard Mousasi never looked like he was in the main event of last night’s UFC Fight Night card – neither physically or psychologically. One of the most interesting things about the Mousasi/Machida fight was that while Machida, dominated from a technical aspect, it didn’t look like Mousasi absorbed a ton of punishment. Mousasi was consistently coming forward, but never looked the aggressor. Machida, who always looked like he was backing up, also looked like he could land a punch or kick at any moment that could have ended the fight.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
Maybe it is a greater credit to the overall skill level of Machida that his opponent looked helpless throughout the fight. What was even more interesting was the fact that visually, Mousasi never looked interested in the fight. Now, far be it for me to judge the focus of a fighter when he’s got another human being trying to knock his head off, but I wasn’t alone in thinking the unemotional Mousasi wasn’t at his best. Social media was alive with various thoughts on Mousasi’s performance, with the conclusion being that he showed more emotion about his hat getting stolen than he did in the entire 15 minute fight.
Even in the 5th round, where Mousasi knew Machida was winning the fight, you never saw him put caution to the wind and try to go for the knock out. What was even more disheartening about the performance was that a win over Machida, might have leap frogged him ahead of almost every other middleweight contender.
Emotion is a hard thing to read. Everyone handles being a UFC differently, some, like Wanderlei Silva wear their hearts on their gloves, others, like Mousasi, don’t. Is one way better than the other? In the case of last night, emotion could have made the difference between victory and loss for Gegard.