Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida has gone from being a UFC world champion to riding a two-fight losing skid in the promotion, having gotten knocked out by Mauricio Rua in losing his belt and then defeated–albeit controversially–by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in his follow up fight.
Now “The Dragon” is scheduled to take on MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture in a fight that, should he lose, could be his last inside the Octagon. Machida spoke with FightersOnly.com about his downfall and his fight with Couture.
The Belem, Brazil native asserted that his brief run as champ exposed his once impenetrable style, as all of his opponents began diligently studying tape on him, mostly nullifying the confusing offense he had employed in his previous fights to great effect.
“They [adversaries] didn’t take my game because I didn’t show all my fighting style,” he said. “Of course, being the champion, I started to be more studied and aimed and some of the attacks that were unpredictable turned out predicable.”
On Couture, Machida said that he is preparing to deal with “The Natural’s” vaunted wrestling and clinch game and he vowed not to let the Greco-Roman expert bully him into the fence.
“He is an Olympic-level wrestler, therefore, I won’t play this game with him,” he said. “We will fight standing or on the ground. There won’t be clinch against the cage.”
Machida and Couture will square off on the main card of UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields, which will be taking place this April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.