Former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida has always been known for possessing a diverse set of skills unlike many, if any, of his peers’. His striking is powerful, precise, and comes from a variety of angles; he’s prepared to grapple and attack/defend on the ground. However, when it comes to his attempt at beating current divisional king Jon Jones this weekend the 33-year old Brazilian feels the result won’t be decided by his physical ability so much as his mental acuity.

Machida offered his enlightened approach to the UFC 140 headliner, mentioning a change in mindset after his loss to Mauricio Rua in 2010.

“I became more focused on details,” said Machida in an interview with the UFC’s website. “(Now) I’m smarter in training in order to get more out of each session.”

His newfound interest in examining the finer points of his craft, as well as his opponent’s, has given him a solid foundation to work with against Jones who has looked unbeatable thus far in his young career.

“I always saw (Jones) as a very versatile fighter and he has a lot of different combinations, but I only began to study him recently. Every fighter poses difficulties, it’s not because it is Jon Jones or anyone else,” explained the 17-2 Machida. “He has good reach, a versatile game and he fights well on his feet, on the ground and takedowns. I believe I am well-versed in all three areas as well and I believe this will be a war of strategies, that’s what will count the most in the fight.”

Catch Machida’s fight with Jones on PPV Saturday night at 9:00 PM EST with other main card action including an appearance from UFC icon Tito Ortiz in what will be one of his final fights inside the Octagon, as well as a rematch between heavyweight legends Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.


MMATraining Take: I agree to an extent that the fight will come down to preparedness but facing Jones will be unlike any training partner Machida has worked with because “Bones” is one-of-a-kind talent. If Machida can’t close the distance while fending off the clinch he’s going to be in a long night (or short one if I’m being literal).