Lyoto Machida

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Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida by Marcos Joel Reis.jpg
Machida in 2011
Born Lyoto Carvalho Machida
(1978-05-30) May 30, 1978 (age 35)
Salvador, Brazil
Other names The Dragon
Residence Palos Verdes, California, United States
Nationality Brazilian
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Division Light Heavyweight
Middleweight
Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Style Shotokan Karate, Sumo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out of Los Angeles, California, United States
Team Black House
Kings MMA
Teacher(s) Antonio Inoki
Yoshizo Machida
Rank 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan Karate under Yoshizo Machida
black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Walter Broca[1]
Years active 2003–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 25
Wins 21
By knockout 8
By submission 2
By decision 11
Losses 4
By knockout 1
By submission 1
By decision 2
Spouse Fabyola
Children 2
Notable relatives Chinzô Machida (brother), Yoshizo Machida (father)
Website http://lyotomachida.net
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: February 15, 2014 (2014-02-15)

Lyoto Carvalho Machida (Portuguese pronunciation: [liˈotu maˈʃidɐ]) (born May 30, 1978) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who currently fights in the middleweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. As of March 24, 2014, Machida is ranked #2 in the official UFC middleweight rankings.[2]

Background[edit]

Lyoto was born in Salvador, Brazil, as the third son of the highly ranked head of the Brazilian branch of the Japan Karate Association,[3] Shotokan karate master Yoshizo Machida.[4] Yoshizo moved to Brazil from Japan when he was 22 years old, where he met and married Lyoto's mother, Ana Claudia, who is of Portuguese and Italian descent.[5] Growing up in Belém, Lyoto began training in karate at age 3 and earned his black belt at the age of 13.[6] He also began training in sumo at twelve and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at fifteen. He won a number of amateur karate tournaments, including the 2001 Pan American Karate tournament.[7]

He was the runner-up in the 2000 Brazilian Sumo Championships in the 115 kg division. As an adult, he became Brazilian Champion twice, and placed second in the South American Championship. He defeated American fighter and Jiu-Jitsu black belt Rafael Lovato Jr. at L.A. Sub X. In addition to his sumo and karate achievements, he has a college degree in Physical Education. Lyoto's older brother Chinzo is also a Shotokan karate champion and MMA fighter. Lyoto and Chinzo fought in a karate tournament final over ten years ago in which Lyoto gave Chinzo a cheek scar that still exists today.[8] His other brothers include Kenzo Machida, a TV journalist for one of Brazil's biggest TV stations, and Take Machida.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Machida began his career in mixed martial arts under the management of legendary pro wrestler and MMA pioneer Antonio Inoki in Japan. On May 2, 2003, he defeated Kengo Watanabe by decision in his professional debut on a card promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling in Tokyo. During his early fights he competed under the name of LYOTO or RYOTO.

In his second fight, he defeated future UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar by technical knockout due to a cut in the inaugural event promoted by Jungle Fight in Manaus, Brazil. This was Bonnar's first professional loss.

On December 31, 2003, he took part in Inoki's annual event Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003, where he fought future UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin in an catchweight bout in which both men weighed in at 214 lbs. In front of over 40,000 fans at Kobe Wing Stadium, Machida defeated Franklin via TKO in the second round. He staggered Franklin with a counter left punch and knocked him down with a front kick to the face, finishing up with punches to the face which forced the referee to stop the fight. This was Franklin's first professional defeat.

Following this, Machida went on to compete for the K-1 promotion, where he beat kickboxers Michael McDonald (by submission) and Sam Greco (by split decision) under MMA rules. When K-1 began promoting Hero's, a series of fight cards featuring only MMA bouts rather than cards mixed with kickboxing matches, Machida was transferred there. He took on former UFC Welterweight Champion B.J. Penn on March 26, 2005 in Saitama at Hero's 1 in an openweight match. Machida weighed in at 102.0 kg (224.9 lb) while Penn weighed in at 86.5 kg (191 lb).[9] Machida won by unanimous decision.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Machida made his UFC debut on the preliminary card of UFC 67 against Sam Hoger and won by unanimous decision. He was expected to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 70, but Griffin became ill with a staph infection and was replaced by undefeated David Heath,[10] who Machida beat by unanimous decision. He next faced judo practitioner and Pride Fighting Championship veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura at UFC 76. Machida won by unanimous decision and Nakamura would later test positive for marijuana.[11]

At UFC 79, Machida faced Sokoudjou, a judo practitioner making his UFC debut after back-to-back upset knockout victories over Pride veterans Antônio Rogério Nogueira and Ricardo Arona. Machida scored the first stoppage of his UFC career by submitting Sokoudjou with an arm triangle choke at 4:20 of the second round.

Machida's next fight was at UFC 84 against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz, in what was thought to be Ortiz's final UFC appearance after a dispute with UFC President Dana White. Machida frustrated Ortiz with lateral movement and counterstriking while successfully defending against the former champion's takedowns. In the closing minutes of the third round Machida knocked Ortiz down with a knee to the body. As Machida moved in to finish the fight, Ortiz almost locked in a triangle choke before transitioning to an armbar attempt.[12] Machida managed to escape and win by unanimous decision, with all judges scoring the fight 30–27 in his favor.[13] Years after the bout, Dana White revealed that the only time he ever awarded a personal check of his to a fighter was to Machida, for defeating Ortiz.[14]

In the co-main event of UFC 94, Machida faced fellow undefeated Brazilian contender Thiago Silva. The two were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 89, but a back injury forced Silva to withdraw from the contest.[15] UFC President Dana White indicated in the pre-fight press conference that Machida would receive a title shot with a victory, while Silva would need to defeat Machida and win one more contest before earning the same opportunity.[16] Machida was able to knock down Silva twice during the first round before ultimately knocking him out after tripping him and jumping in landing the knockout punch at 4:59 of the first round, scoring his first UFC knockout victory and winning his first Knockout of the Night bonus award.[17]

Winning the Light Heavyweight Championship and title defenses[edit]

Despite Machida's knockout of Thiago Silva, Dana White indicated that he was not the number one contender for a title shot. Instead, a scheduled fight between former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson and Keith Jardine would determine Machida's title fate. A victory for Jackson would earn him a fight with champion Rashad Evans, but a win for Jardine would mean Machida would be awarded with a title shot.[18] Jackson won the fight via unanimous decision, but torn ligaments in his jaw forced the former champion out of the bout. Instead, Machida would challenge Evans for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 98.[19] Jackson would retain his title shot against the winner of that match upon returning from injury.

Machida then met Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans in another clash of undefeated fighters on the main event of UFC 98. Machida scored an early knockdown in the first round and ultimately knocked Evans out with a flurry of punches at 3:57 of the second round, becoming the tenth UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. His performance earned him Knockout of the Night honors with a $60,000 bonus for the second time.[20]

Machida was expected to face Quinton Jackson in his first title defense, but Jackson opted to coach the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter instead. Pride Fighting Championship's 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix winner Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was then selected as Machida's first title challenger.[21] The bout took place on October 24, 2009, at UFC 104, with Machida winning by unanimous decision, 48–47 from all three judges, with one stating that Machida "landed the more damaging strikes throughout the fight" and was the more "effective aggressor".[22]

Out of the three judges, Nelson Hamilton gave Machida rounds 2, 3 and 4. Cecil Peoples and Marcos Rosales each gave Machida the first three rounds. In spite of this, a significant amount of the audience in attendance booed the decision after it was delivered, voicing their support for Rua. Writers for a number of sports websites and magazines also claimed they felt Rua had won.[23][24] There were also MMA fighters in attendance who voiced support for the decision, among them were several of Machida's training partners, including Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Junior dos Santos, José Aldo, Rafael Cavalcante and Anderson Silva.[25] A FightMetric analysis of the fight suggested that Rua had been more aggressive and had landed more blows to the head and legs than Machida,[26] while CompuStrike reported that Rua landed almost twice as many strikes as Machida did. Both FightMetric and CompuStrike explicitly state on their websites that they are not intended to be used to judge MMA events, and are merely a way to track a fighter's activity.[27]

Because of the controversy surrounding the close decision, on May 8, 2010, at UFC 113 in Montreal, Canada, Machida and Rua rematched, seven months after their original fight. In the much anticipated rematch, both fighters started aggressively and scored significant points in striking exchanges, with Machida scoring two takedowns during the round. Rua showed strong defense on the ground, spinning to attempt a kneebar before both fighters returned to their feet. In a striking exchange, Rua swerved to avoid a left straight from Machida and landed a powerful counter overhand right to the temple, which knocked Machida down. Rua then took the full mount and proceeded to knock Machida out with ground-and-pound, making him the new Light Heavyweight Champion at 3:35 of round 1,[28] with Machida suffering his first MMA career loss.

Back to contention and title shot vs. Jones[edit]

In his first fight after losing the title, Machida faced Quinton "Rampage" Jackson on the main event of UFC 123. During the first round Machida landed several leg kicks and some counter punches while Rampage predominantly landed from the clinch, utilizing stomps and punches to Machida's side. Both Compustrike[29] and Fightmetric[30] records show that Rampage out-struck Machida when counting blows such as stomps and elbows to the thigh in the clinch, while Machida landing more strikes during the standup exchanges. In the second round, Compustrike and Fightmetric records show Rampage as the busier overall fighter, and Rampage also scored a takedown. The cleanest and most significant blow of the second round was an uppercut landed by Rampage. In the third round, Machida landed a counter left that stunned Rampage and followed it with a flurry of punches, kicks and knees that backed Jackson into the cage. When Rampage tried to retaliate, Machida scored a takedown, eventually gaining full mount and attempted a submission. At the end of the bout, Rampage was declared the winner via split decision (29–28, 29–28, 28–29).

In the post-fight interview, Rampage expressed that the fairest thing would be to offer Machida an immediate rematch, as he felt he had lost the fight. 5 of 7 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Machida.[31] Fighters such as Anderson Silva, Randy Couture and Mauricio Rua all thought that Machida won the fight. However, since UFC President Dana White personally felt that Rampage won the fight, he denied the possibility of an immediate rematch. This generated some controversy, as White had previously awarded an immediate rematch to Rua in spite of a unanimous judgment decision awarded to Machida in that fight.[32]

Machida was then set to face UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture on April 30, 2011, at UFC 129. UFC President Dana White had indicated that Machida was under pressure to perform in his upcoming bout against Couture, saying, "this is a must-win for him.".[33] Machida defeated Couture via KO with a jumping front kick to the face at 1:02 of the second round, earning his third Knockout of the Night bonus award. Machida's kick received praise for being similar to the "Crane kick" featured in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid. Dana White commented that Machida's performance versus Couture put him back into the mix at the top of the division, but stated that he was not yet the next in line for a title shot.[34] Machida was briefly linked to a rematch with Rashad Evans at UFC 133, replacing an injured Phil Davis.[35][36] However, Dana White claimed that Machida wanted "Anderson Silva money" for taking the fight on short notice and the UFC decided to schedule Tito Ortiz for the fight with Evans.[37][38]

Machida was in talks to face Phil Davis, but the fight wouldn't end up happening due to Davis needing more time to recover from knee surgery.[39] Instead, Machida replaced an injured Rashad Evans and faced UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones on December 10, 2011 in the main event of UFC 140. After a first round that saw Machida rock Jones with a punch, in the second round Jones took Machida down and cut him with an elbow strike. After standing up, Machida was knocked down with a straight left counter and then caught in a standing guillotine and choked unconscious at 4:26 of the second round, losing the title bout by technical submission. Both men won Fight of the Night honors.

Machida then faced The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner Ryan Bader on August 4, 2012 in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 4.[40] In a dominant performance throughout the contest, Machida knocked out Bader with a counter right hand at the 1:32 mark of the second round. As a result, Machida was expected to get another title shot.[41] Following the abrupt cancellation of UFC 151, Machida's rematch with Jon Jones was expected to take place at UFC 152,[42] but Machida declined the fight citing that he did not have ample time to prepare, and was replaced by Vitor Belfort. As a result of turning down the fight at UFC 152, it was later confirmed by the UFC that Machida no longer had an immediate title shot.

Machida faced former Pride Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson on February 23, 2013 on the co-main event of UFC 157.[43] The winner of the fight was expected to get a title shot. Machida defeated Henderson via split decision, but ultimately Alexander Gustafsson was given the title shot against Jon Jones.

Machida returned to his native Brazil to face Phil Davis on August 3, 2013 at UFC 163.[44][45] Davis defeated Machida via unanimous decision.[46][47] 13 of 13 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Machida.[47] Davis had takedowns near the end of rounds one and two, but was unable to mount any significant offense. Many MMA analysts and journalists also scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Machida.[48] Dana White stated shortly after the fight that he had Machida winning all three rounds,[49] and later told Yahoo! Sports that "Machida definitely won" and "MMA judging sucks".[50] Fightmetric Analysis supports this, showing that Machida outstruck Phil Davis, and neutralized 80% of Davis' takedown attempts, with a significantly higher efficiency rating through all three rounds.[51] ESPN released a similar analysis tracking each fighter's activity in each category, and reporting the 29-28 victory scored by the three judges at ringside.[52]

Middleweight division[edit]

It was announced by Dana White on August 21, 2013 on Fox Sports Live that Machida would be dropping down to the middleweight division. He was expected to face Tim Kennedy on November 6, 2013 on the main event of UFC Fight For The Troops 3.[53] However, Machida was pulled from the bout and was set to face his friend and training partner Mark Muñoz on October 26, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 30, replacing Muñoz's original opponent Michael Bisping, who was forced out of the bout with an eye injury.[54] Machida defeated Muñoz via head kick KO at the 3:10 mark of the first round, earning him his fourth Knockout of the Night award.[55][56] Machida was praised for demonstrating class and sportsmanship by not throwing any additional punches to the grounded Muñoz after knocking him down before the referee stopped the fight.

In his second bout in the middleweight division, Machida returned to Brazil and faced former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC Fight Night 36 on February 15, 2014.[57] Machida won the fight via unanimous decision after five rounds, also earning his second Fight of the Night bonus award.[58]

Machida was then expected to get a title shot against the winner of the UFC 173 fight between UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. However, after Belfort withdrew from the bout on February 28, 2014, it was announced that Machida would replace him in the main event UFC 173 on May 24, 2014.[59][60] On March 24, 2014, it was revealed Weidman would need to undergo knee surgery and the title fight with Machida was postponed to UFC 175, which takes place on July 5, 2014.[61]

Fighting style[edit]

Machida uses a unique,[62] unorthodox style in MMA that combines elements from his diverse training background. Machida has received criticism for backpedaling in his fights while winning on points. His style is based mainly on tactics using Shotokan karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but also integrates techniques from wrestling and sumo,[63] which Machida says makes him "fully prepared for any situation" in the Octagon. Often described as "elusive", Machida relies on cautious and precise counter-striking that frustrates his opponents into making mistakes.[64][65][66] Machida has earned considerable respect from MMA fans, fighters, and commentators for his effectiveness and winning ways.[67][68][69] At the same time, his cerebral and conservative style is sometimes deemed boring and unsatisfying to watch.[65][67][70][71] Machida has drawn fire from fans,[72][73] and criticism from MMA commentators[74][75] for his limited aggression and many decision victories. In response to these criticisms, Machida said, "If you don't like it, sorry. I always try to win."[76] He also stated that he believes fans are coming to appreciate the efficiency of his style just like they came to appreciate Royce Gracie's Jiu-Jitsu.[71]

Machida defied expectations at UFC 94,[73][77] where he earned a Knockout of the Night honor for his first-round stoppage of then undefeated Thiago Silva. Machida noted that he started to include weight training in his preparation for the bout. Commentators hailed the knockout as a step in the right direction toward building interest in him as a potential champion. In addition, Machida showcased his improved English skills during interviews for the event, which gave him the ability to connect with fans more easily.[78] Machida's limited English was previously seen as a marketing liability.[79][80][81] After knocking out Rashad Evans at UFC 98, in the post fight interview with Joe Rogan, Machida announced to his fans, "Karate is back! Machida Karate!" Many fans have referred to his style as "Machida Karate" since then.

In an issue of MMA Unltd magazine, Machida once again mentioned the phrase "Machida Karate", claiming that it was based on a very traditional form which is very different from modern sports karate. He also said that the karate we see nowadays has lost many techniques over the years in which it was practiced, and that his style was one of the very few that still kept those techniques. "My style is Machida Karate and it is a very traditional form", he said, "It differs from sports karate which we usually see in karate schools and competitions as it has many elements which were lost in the style including the use of knees, elbows, takedowns and even some submissions". Lyoto is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Walter Broca.[82]

Personal life[edit]

Machida's wife is named Fabyola,[83][84] and they have two sons.

Titles and Accomplishments[edit]

Titles[edit]

Accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 21–4 Gegard Mousasi Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi February 15, 2014 5 5:00 Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil Fight of the Night.
Win 20–4 Mark Muñoz KO (head kick) UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz October 26, 2013 1 3:10 Manchester, England, United Kingdom Middleweight debut; Knockout of the Night.
Loss 19–4 Phil Davis Decision (unanimous) UFC 163 August 3, 2013 3 5:00 Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 19–3 Dan Henderson Decision (split) UFC 157 February 23, 2013 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States
Win 18–3 Ryan Bader KO (punches) UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera August 4, 2012 2 1:32 Los Angeles, California, United States
Loss 17–3 Jon Jones Technical submission (standing guillotine choke) UFC 140 December 10, 2011 2 4:26 Toronto, Ontario, Canada For the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship; Fight of the Night.
Win 17–2 Randy Couture KO (crane kick) UFC 129 April 30, 2011 2 1:02 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Knockout of the Night; Knockout of the Year (2011)
Loss 16–2 Quinton Jackson Decision (split) UFC 123 November 20, 2010 3 5:00 Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Loss 16–1 Mauricio Rua KO (punches) UFC 113 May 8, 2010 1 3:35 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Lost the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 16–0 Mauricio Rua Decision (unanimous) UFC 104 October 24, 2009 5 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States Defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 15–0 Rashad Evans KO (punches) UFC 98 May 23, 2009 2 3:57 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship; Knockout of the Night.
Win 14–0 Thiago Silva KO (punches) UFC 94 January 31, 2009 1 4:59 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 13–0 Tito Ortiz Decision (unanimous) UFC 84 May 24, 2008 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–0 Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 79 December 29, 2007 2 4:20 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–0 Kazuhiro Nakamura Decision (unanimous) UFC 76 September 22, 2007 3 5:00 Anaheim, California, United States
Win 10–0 David Heath Decision (unanimous) UFC 70 April 21, 2007 3 5:00 Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Win 9–0 Sam Hoger Decision (unanimous) UFC 67 February 3, 2007 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–0 Vernon White Decision (unanimous) WFA: King of the Streets July 22, 2006 3 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 7–0 Dimitri Wanderley TKO (exhaustion) Jungle Fight 6 April 29, 2006 3 3:24 Manaus, Brazil
Win 6–0 B.J. Penn Decision (unanimous) Hero's 1 March 26, 2005 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan Open-weight bout
Win 5–0 Sam Greco Decision (split) K-1 MMA ROMANEX May 22, 2004 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 4–0 Michael McDonald Submission (forearm choke) K-1 Beast 2004 in Niigata March 14, 2004 1 2:30 Niigata, Japan
Win 3–0 Rich Franklin TKO (head kick and punches) Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 December 31, 2003 2 1:00 Kobe, Japan Catchweight of 214 lbs.
Win 2–0 Stephan Bonnar TKO (doctor stoppage) Jungle Fight 1 September 13, 2003 1 4:21 Manaus, Brazil
Win 1–0 Kengo Watanabe Decision (unanimous) NJPW: Ultimate Crush May 2, 2003 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan

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External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Rashad Evans
10th UFC Light Heavyweight Champion
May 23, 2009 – May 8, 2010
Succeeded by
Mauricio Rua