Machida vows not to leave it in the hands of the judges

Friday, October 25, 2013

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida recently conducted an interview with the Brazilian language combat sports site In it, he vowed to change his style, so he no longer has to hear the judge’s decision. The change is precipitated by a decision loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 163 in August.

Machida fights Mark Muñoz this Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night 30, in Manchester, England, and vows a different style. Munoz had originally been scheduled to fight Michael Bisping, who was forced from the card with an eye injury. Machida was pulled from a fight with Tim Kennedy on Nov 6, and matched instead with Munoz.

Machida will be competing for the first time at 185, which is his appropriate fighting weight. He had previously fought at 205 to avoid facing his BlackHouse teammate Anderson Silva. However, when Silva lost his title to Chris Weidman, Machida made the drop.

As of yesterday, The Dragon was at 192.

Marcos Luca Valentim: Did the judges’ decision in the loss to Phil David make you re-evaluate your fighting style?

Lyoto Machida: I have had to change to get away from these judges decisions. I’m going to avoid leaving it in the hands of the judges. I have to loosen up out there. If I loosen up and let go, I’m going to accomplish what I want to accomplish: a knockout, a finish. Whatever it is, I am confident in my abilities.

MLV: You actually suffered an injury before the Davis fight that only a few people know about? What happened?

LM: Yeah. I actually wasn’t able to walk straight up to one week before the fight. I was working with Brendan Schaub and hurt my foot. The damage was to my ankle’s lateral ligament, which made it impossible to train or even walk. My physiotherapist accompanied me to Rio de Janeiro, and we did some intensive therapy. It got a lot better for the fight, but it was still bothering me. This is not an excuse for the loss, but who’s to say the fight might not have ended differently if not for the problem with my foot?

MLV: Muñoz is ranked fifth in the UFC’s middleweight rankings. If you win this fight, what do you imagine the future holds for you in this weight class?

LM: If I win, it puts me in a good position. This is my first fight in this weight class, so before anything else, I have to make an impressive debut, and then I’ll think about that other stuff after. One thing at a time. I have always made it clear that I could change divisions, and it worked out that middleweight was an opportunity that the UFC presented me with. But don’t write off the possibility of me going back up to light heavyweight.

MLV: Are you going to be cheering for Anderson to beat Weidman, even with the risk it brings of having to face him for a title shot if it comes down to it?

LM: I’m going to be cheering for Anderson to become middleweight champion again, because a title shot is still in the distant future for me at this point. So I don’t even think about it. First, I want to prove that I am also able to compete in the middleweight division.

Read entire article… (original Portuguese)