Lyoto Machida will put his unbeaten 13-0
MMA record on the line at UFC 94 against undefeated Thiago Silva. Since
entering the UFC, Machida has left all opponents confused with his fighting
style and Tito Ortiz, Rameau Sokoudjou, Kazuhiro Nakamura, David Heath
and Sam Hoger are some of the fighters who have fallen as he continues
to rise through the UFC light heavyweight division. MMA Sports caught
up with him to discuss his next fight and discuss his thoughts about
a title fight.
MMA Sports - Lyoto, can you tell us a little
bit about your training to fight Thiago Silva?
Lyoto Machida - I have been training for this fight long ago. To be
honest I started my training in last September and right now I am in
the final phase of this training. I am working on my stamina and some
technical details. My brother and father help me everyday, also with
my physical trainer. We are now studying Silva's game to trace an efficient
strategy to defeat him.
MMA Sports - Can you share with us your plans?
Lyoto Machida - Not at all (laughs), but I can tell you I am focused
to fight on the feet and show him my karate. I intend to take him down
with karate. I try to be as complete as I can be in the octagon and
I do have to use what I do have best, which is the standing game.
MMA Sports - But Silva also promised to fight
on the feet too…Do you have some special move against him?
Lyoto Machida - As I said, we study the opponent and I take nearly three
months to build a strategy. I watch his fights, analyze where he does
like to play and I focus on his mistakes. So that way I have some advantage
and also don't get surprised during the fight. Knowing my opponent is
the fist move of this battle.
MMA Sports - Some Brazilian fighters do not like
to fight country mates. What do you think about that?
Lyoto Machida - I've never chosen any opponent. UFC chooses them to
fight me. What they think is better, I am professional and I'll do it.
I don't see a problem fighting other Brazilians. I don't take fighting
too personal. As I said I am a Professional and my job is fighting…anybody!
MMA Sports - Some people don't like your fighting
style and say you do boring matches. What do you say about that?
Lyoto Machida - I think it's just an opinion and I do respect that.
I am a professional fighter and my strategy is that. I think in the
future people will understand what I mean. It's like Jiu-Jitsu. In the
beginning of the UFC, people didn't understand the soft art and considered
it boring, but it was needed.
MMA Sports - And at the same time you are doing
great with your game...
Lyoto Machida - Exactly. I fight to win and for some people it may be
boring. But I can tell you, I leave the octagon with no bruises or scratches.
I feel like a ghost that cannot be found. I think my game is working
and I have been winning.
MMA Sports - And how is your weight?
Lyoto Machida - Right now I am 97kg, which is my regular weight. When
the fight time comes I travel to the US weighting 95kg and lose some
before the fight. Then I gain back.
MMA Sports - Weeks ago Dana White stated you
have qualities to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the
future. What did you think about that?
Lyoto Machida - I am honored to receive this compliment from Dana. He
does understand about fighting and the fighter's goals. He feels in
each fighter what is missing, what needs to be improved and I am a fan
of his work because of it. And I will keep training to get better and
I will never assume I am the best. I know I have been training hard
and I am gaining confidence to face my opponents. This is what matters
MMA Sports - Do you think you might get a title
shot in case you defeat Thiago Silva?
Lyoto Machida - If I don't get a title shot I will be very close. The
division is getting harder and harder and the bouts are getting very
intense. I think I am very close to having the chance to fight for the
title. But until then, I keep training and fighting. It gives me experience
MMA Sports - But are you ready to fight for the
Lyoto Machida - I think I deserve a chance to fight for this belt. I
have already proved it in the octagon. But this is a UFC decision and
I am fine with that. I know my day is coming.
MMA Sports - About your division, is there a
specific fighter you would like to fight?
Lyoto Machida - Yes and his name is Rashad Evans. And not because he
is the champion, but he is an excellent fighter and I think we would
do a great fight.
MMA Sports - Talking about the UFC, what did
you think about Rashad Evans vs. Forrest Griffin?
Lyoto Machida - Honestly I thought Forrest would win that match. But
fighting is not always a predictable sport. Rashad is a tough fighter
and built the right strategy. He knew how to fight the champion and
he became dangerous. He was losing that combat, but he remained calm
and waited for his chance. When his chance came out he didn't waste
it and ended the fight. I think Forrest is a better fighter. He has
more resistance and he's also better on the feet. But Rashad played
well and it was enough.
MMA Sports - You do also consider yourself a
strategist. How to beat Rashad now?
Lyoto Machida - I think Rashad is a complete fighter. He feeds himself
in the Wrestling and out of question he deserves to be on the top. But
in my opinion I see some things in his game that should be improved.
But right now I am focused on Thiago Silva and in this next fight.