Machida's evasive style is so "ghost-like", that he often lays in wait until his foe makes the wrong move and then he snaps on them like a panther. However, from a technical standpoint, Randy Couture does not make many mistakes and could potentially work a gameplan where he slowly but surely breaks Lyoto down. Randy's boxing has gotten so crisp over the years, that I think he may be successful in nullifying Machida's point karate style by simply "out pointing him" and IF Randy is somehow able to track Machida down and work his glorious clinchgame, I think we could very well see Machida get grinded down.
Now, Machida can really uncork some shots and certainly isn't the underdog here, but by not being the aggressor against Couture, he's not applying the adequate pressure which has been a key to success when fighting Randy, for it's when he's on the ropes and unable to apply his gameplan where he's most vulnerable. If Machida's going to approach ths fight like he did the Shogun or Rashad fights, I feel he may just be alotting Randy enough time to pick his spots, score some valuable points and possibly gain a UD. Randy's style has always played perfectly into striker's weaknesses once he closes the gaps, but with Machida, I'd be curious to see how it plays out, because I see him reacting more than stalking.
Machida's style is really difficult to breakdown and say "THERE'S where he's exposed", but I think Randy has the tools to manipulate the fight to his advantage. Even at his age, I don't see him as too great the underdog and think that the longer this fight goes, the more points Randy will have scored. I see Randy boxing around Machida and going in for a clinch war in the later parts of the rounds to press Machida. I wouldn't be surprised if Randy tried some takedowns in Rds. 4 or 5 to score more points and the longer it goes, if Machida isn't winning on the cards, I could see him having to diviate from his gameplan and maybe try and win it, which could lead to a mistake.
I see this one going eerily like Randy's bout vs. Mo Smith. Randy via Rd. 5 UD.
MY MMA RANKINGS
HW Velasquez Cigano Werdum Cormier Bigfoot Barnett Mir Browne
LHW Jones Machida Evans Hendo Davis Goose Teixeira Shogun Mousasi Bader
MW ASilva Rockhold Belfort Weidman Jacare Okami Kennedy Consta Belcher Boetsch
WW GSP Hendricks Condit MacDonald Diaz Maia Fitch Kampmann Ellenberger Pyle
LW Bendo Alvarez Maynard Melendez Thomson J.Miller Diaz Pettis Chandler Grant dos Anjos
FW Aldo Mendes Curran Lamas Frankie Zombie
BW Cruz Barao Fernandes Faber Moraes