Machado was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and suffered birth defects resulting from Amniotic band syndrome, which left him with only the thumb and the little finger on his left hand. Despite this congenital problem, which directly affects the skill of gripping, he began his Jiu-Jitsu training over thirty years ago and dominated the competitive arena of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his native country, capturing every major title and competition award from 1982 through 1992.
In 1992, Machado arrived in the United States to continue his competitive success. Dominating the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu scene both in the US and in international competition, Machado is one of the most admired and respected Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the world today.
On June 6, 2011 in a private ceremony held at the Rickson Gracie Academy in West Los Angeles, Machado was promoted to a 7th degree red-and-black belt. This prestigious promotion is in recognition of Machado's 25 years as a black belt instructor, competitor and champion.