Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida has gone from being the most frightful competitor at 205 lbs. to having his career longevity in question prior to his next fight. After losing two in a row, the outcome of Machida’s upcoming bout against MMA legend Randy Couture could very likely decide his future in the UFC.
His most recent fight, against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, was mostly fought at a measured pace, something Machida was heavily criticized for early on in his career. In a recent interview with Terra Sport (props to MMAMania for the translation), Machida discussed why, even though he understands the importance of remaining exciting in the fans’ eyes, he will not totally abandon the style that made him a champion when he takes on Couture.
“I admire Randy Couture for everything he did. It’s extraordinary to get to that age fighting with top fighters in such a high level. I got the privilege of facing him. This is going to be a honor to know that I made part of his history, it’s priceless. Few people will get such an honor to fighting him,” Machida said. “The intent is to change the attitude, to look for the aggressiveness, the entertainment. We’re fighting professionals, it’s not enough to perform, we have to please the audience. I’ve got to enhance some aspects of my game but I cannot totally change. I can’t forget what made me champion. How can I throw it all away? How can I change my whole style?”
Machida and Couture are scheduled to square off this April 30th at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the main card of UFC 130: St. Pierre vs. Shields.