Former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida will be taking on fellow former champ and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture this weekend in what could be “The Natural’s” last dance inside the octagon.
Known for his ability to formulate and implement a game plan as well as for his exceptional grappling/clinch fighting acumen, Couture presents a stylistic challenge to Machida and poses a real threat to the elusive Brazilian karateka. Machida is no failure of a tactician himself though and, realizing full well what Couture brings to the table, has formulated a game plan of his own to combat “The Natural.”
“Of course, I’ll always train the ground and takedowns,” Machida recently told Sherdog.com. “Nevertheless, I’ve trained hard in my karate, mixing in muay Thai and boxing. We have trained many situations, and I’ve trained hard to fight standing because I think this is a fight I cannot let happen much on the ground. If the fight goes to the ground, he might score points, and that’s the game he wants to play.”
“He is very strong on top,” he added later. “I’m very focused on the fight standing because that’s where I was born and where I always distinguish myself.”
Machida and Couture are set to square off this weekend on the main card of UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields, which is going down at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com on the night for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.