The second Shogun fight was a long time after the first. A lot of fans turned against him after the first fight because they felt Shogun was robbed. Let's face it, the fans typically remember what happened towards the end and forget the early part of the fight. People (Dana White and Rogan) kept saying Shogun won the fight. I wasn't watching MMA at the time but the fans and media probably accused him of being a point fighter etc.. It probably got to his head that he has to finish Shogun ( I think I have seen some interviews where he said this.) He came out too aggressively for his own good and seemed to do well until that one punch from Shogun got through.
The Rampage fight is where you may have a point. The KO seemed to make him fight cautiously, but I still think he clearly won that fight. His game plan added to the judges' incompetence.
The Jones fight was going well, at least better than most expected. What caused him to stop maintaining the distance as he did in the first round, I do not know. Perhaps that was the plan all along, to close the distance in the second round. Whatever it was, it didn't work.
If you are talking about mental lapses in his game plan that is discussed in between rounds, you may be right. But if you are talking about his strategy before the fight starts, it is hardly mental.
Anyway, this is only what I think happened, right or wrong you are free to reply.
Initial reaction is Bader gets dropped. I really find it hard to imagine anything else happening. I think his striking is just a little to much for the experience level Bader is at right now.
Let me guess.....the winner of this match gets Gufstaffon for the #1 contendership and the loser gets Phil Davis?
I agree that it's a decent fight to make rankings-wise, but Machida's going to make Bader look like he doesn't belong in there.
Bader has nothing for Machida IMO. The Dragon will dance beautifully karate circles around him and Bader will whiff with loaded up right hands until his button is pushed.
Bader may score a takedown early, but short of hurting Lyoto with a Hail-Mary and following up on the ground, he won't have much success on the mat either IMO - IF he can even take Machida down.
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Just gonna throw this out there as a reminder