Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida will be looking to avoid picking up his third consecutive loss when he steps into the Octagon opposite fellow former champ Randy “The Natural” Couture this April 30th at UFC 129.
Machida earned the 205 lbs. title by starching Rashad Evans at UFC 98 almost two years ago and he successfully, albeit controversially, defended his title against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua a few months later. That would be the end of Machida’s title run though, as Rua came back with a vengeance and knocked Machida out in their immediate rematch. Following that fight and in his most recent appearance, Machida lost a razor-thin split decision to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 123.
In a recent conversation with Tatame.com, Machida explained that he realizes his UFC career could come to an end should he pick up a loss against Couture this next time out.
“UFC considers the incomes a lot, the profits, and if I’m not pleasing the fans anymore, they won’t feel sorry for me,” he said. “That’s why I’ve always invested on me a lot, and it won’t be any different now. If I did a lot, I’ll do a lot more now. I’ll give my best trying to win. If I have to bring the best professionals, I will. I’ll be far, geographically, but I can bring the guys to help me here in Belem.”
In addition to the pressure added by possibly having to fight for his job, Machida will be up against a modern MMA legend in Couture whom he believes will be as tough as ever come fight night.
“We know Randy Couture is a great champion, a guy who helped to build the sport as it is, and it’s a great pleasure to have this fight on my résumé, because I’ll be part of Randy Couture’s history on the sport,” said Machida. “He added much to MMA. I believe we can win, we have many weapons. Despite he’s on a certain age, he’s tough and experienced, and he’s been fighting guys like ‘Minotauro’ and he did tough fights and he’s tough for anyone.”
UFC 129 is going down late this April at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and will feature a welterweight title fight between champion Georges St. Pierre and challenger Jake Shields as well as a featherweight championship bout between champ Jose Aldo and challenger Mark Hominick.