This is pretty obvious to me, but we live in a world where "old is useless". It's sad.
It becomes useless when those doing it cannot clearly articulate how it helps.
From Thornton's standpoint and criteria, he is looking for someone that does the "old things" to show him how it is useful. It appears that no one has been able to do this. So you can't fault him on that.
Now maybe Machida can do that...maybe Machida would say the same thing as Thornton? Who knows?
Just because Machida has a traditional background does not necessarily mean he considers it a primary driver in his success in the ring. It would be interesting to hear how he feels about it.
I think there is relative value in everything we do, and finding the balance is key.
"Old" is useful to me in many respects, it depends on the context of what I am training.
Again, I think it is important to understand and be able to articulate how "Old" is useful.
Most folks in TMA cannot though, and frankly, I have abandoned much of my TMA training as it is simply NOT an efficient way to train for the things I think are important to me.
The day someone can demonstrate to me that they are...then I will do them.
There are a number of things I do on a daily basis that are considered "Old" and are considered basic "kata" exercises.
I think the difference is...I view them as exercises and structure, and NOT methods of fighting.