Undefeated UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida will soon have to prove that the 205lbs. crown truly belongs to him. Machida is a week away from participating in one of the most anticipated rematches in MMA history.
At UFC 104 Machida fought challenger Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for a hard five rounds that many thought the majority of went to Rua. Instead of announcing a new Light-Heavyweight Champion, Octagon announcer Bruce Buffer informed the world that the judges saw Machida as being the clear cut winner.
Looking to bury the controversy surrounding that victory and all questions pertaining to the validity of his title, Lyoto Machida spoke with media through translator Ed Soares last week about the impending rematch and his feelings on the first fight. Rua gave Machida the fight of his life and Machida will not hesitate to admit that fact. He believes that having gone five rounds with each other previously will only make this next fight better and more entertaining.
“We’re both a lot more familiar with each other than we were the first time we met,” Machida said. “So I think it just makes all that much greater for a better fight this time around.”
Some who argue that Machida did, in fact, defeat Rua use the outdated logic that “a challenger has to definitively beat a champion to take his belt.” Machida does not buy into that and believes that each fight should be judged objectively.
“The way I feel is I think it has to be fair,” Machida said. “I don’t believe that the challenger has to come in and really take the belt from the champion. I think it needs to be judged the way it is, round for round.”
The bout against Rua marked the first time that “The Dragon” had fought for a full five rounds. Having passed that trial by fire only gives Machida more confidence heading into this next five-round championship fight.
“I believe that, you know, one of the main things about a championship bout is that you do go five rounds,” he said. “And we’ve trained that a lot. It does make me feel – I’m always confident, but it does make me feel confident that I went in there and fought for five rounds.”
Machida also shared his thoughts on his teammate Anderson Silva’s controversial victory over Demian Maia last month.
“I believe the main priority for a fighter is to go in there and win the fight and fight well. And I think that if you go in there and fight well and win the fight, I think it’s going to be entertaining. So I think the main priority of a fighter is to go in there and fight to win.”
Machida answered a later question about Anderson’s showboating style and whether or not he would ever adopt those kind of antics.
“I find it to be very difficult for me to act like that inside the ring,” said Machida. “I mean, everybody’s different. I think Anderson has a little bit more of that style; he feels a little bit more at ease inside the ring, he likes to play around. It’s just more of his style. Everyone has their own style. I have a different style when I’m fighting so I don’t think I’ll ever have those types of situations happen to me.”
Machida defends against Shogun at UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2 on May 8, 2010 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.