Let’s break this long awaited rematch down “King Mo” style and see what happens. We got a reverse Street Fighter II thing, but here’s the twist: Machida (Ryu) is the final boss and Rua (Sagat) worked his way to becoming one of the bosses. I’m gonna pick out some categories that’ll help you decide a winner.
• SPEED: That’s pretty even. No advantage.
• PACE: Rua has the pace to break you and make you fold. It’s full of calculated explosions and spurts. Machida’s pace tends to be a lot slower because of his range and his methodical style. Look for Rua to try to push the pace a lil’ sooner. Rua gets the edge here.
• LANCE ARMSTRONG: Even. No clear advantage in endurance.
• POWER: Without a doubt, this goes to Rua.
• HUNGER: You might as well call Rua by his new hunger name—Joey Chestnut, the Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest Champion. In 2006, Chestnut came out of nowhere to nearly defeat the reigning champion, Takeru Kobayashi. There was some controversy in that loss to Kobayashi due to some judging errors. Then in 2007, Chestnut came back to knock off Kobayashi by three hotdogs and set a new record in the process. In the story I just told, put Rua in the place of Joey Chestnut and Machida in the place of Takeru Kobayashi and you will see the parallels. Rua gets the edge here.
• STREET FIGHTER PERFECT: A “Perfect” is when you whoop somebody with out getting touched. That edge goes to Machida. He fights at a long range, has great footwork, and feigns to keep you guessing.
• THE SHANG TSUNG FATALITY: Yeah, I know, I know, different video game. This is based on the ability to finish with brutality, though. I think this goes to Rua. Look at his track record!
• TOM AND JERRY: This is even, too. Both guys pretty much assume one role traditionally. Rua is Tom and Machida is Jerry. Rua is aggressive and always on the attack. Machida is a thinker and sets traps.
THE FINAL BREAKDOWN
This fight is the classic thinker vs. doer. But this will come down to who can switch the roles and stay effective. Machida has to be more of a doer. He needs to press the action a little bit more than he did last time and keep his back off the cage. Rua can fight the same way as he did in the last fight, but he needs to utilize his ability to fight in short spurts when he finds the opportunities.