When Lyoto Machida first heard he was to be offered an opportunity to face UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones he was at a birthday party. Though the celebration was not for him, Machida knew he had received a great gift from the UFC and accepted the match-up without hesitation.
“The Dragon” recently spoke about how the process unfolded and his mindset entering the December 10 bout at UFC 140, even at this stage of the game.
“In the morning I want to give a class and, when I came back, the contract was there for me to sign it. It was a reason for me to be happy, because that’s why we enter these battles for,” Machida explained to Tatame.
Prior to yesterday’s announcement it was believed Machida could be out for a number of months after rubbing UFC management the wrong way with a demand for money on a short-notice fight this past August.
“What was going on was that I didn’t have an opponent set…(it was) a momentum thing,” Machida said while adding he tries to find the positive side of all situations. “I looked for the right road to follow, always doing it right. I didn’t injury anybody, I didn’t steal from anybody, so I don’t have to be worried about it. I’ll do my job and keep training. My life ain’t about money and fame. It’s always been training, since I was an amateur. I’ve always waited for this moment to come to me again.”
As far as Jones, Machida sees it as a challenging fight, stating, “It’s hard, he’s is much versatile and knows a lot of techniques, but we play a similar game. He kicks, I kick, he punches and goes to the ground. I can defend myself and take him down too. Stamina and game plan are things that could define this bout’s outcome. Nobody is invincible. We’re training for the best, looking for enlarging our body and mind and that’s what I’m gonna do.”
His confidence comes from his outlook on competition, a belief-system he’s held for years.
“I try not to make room for any mistakes. I can lose to anyone, but I can’t lose to myself. I demand a prediction of when I’m fighting so I can prepare myself the best possible way, I want to be at my best when I’m fighting.”
To beat Jones, ask anyone – being his best is not an option, it’s a necessity.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: While Evans vs. Jones may have been the bigger-money bout to make, Machida vs. Jones is a lot more interesting from a stylistic standpoint. Other than Rua no one has hurt Machida whose precise striking, elusive movement, and overall skillset have proven to be Jones-like in most instances. The folks in Toronto definitely have a treat headed their way this December!