Lyoto Machida: At A Crossroads

image On February 3rd, 2007, little known Lyoto Machida made his way to the octagon to a near silent crowd, to face Sam Hoger at UFC 67. After that contest, people were pleasantly surprised at his unusual style and began to get more intrigued by the idea that Karate could be used as an effective art in MMA. After 3 decisions wins to begin his UFC career, he began making a big name for himself in the sport with victories over the likes of Tito Ortiz and Thiago Silva, before getting his shot at the light-heavyweight belt versus Rashad Evans at UFC 98, and that night would prove to be a huge eye-opener for just how effective karate could be versus the elite. He knocked out Rashad Evans in the second round to capture the light-heavyweight title. 'The Machida Era' as it was so famously called by Joe Rogan at UFC 98, came to an abrupt halt at UFC 113 when 'Shogun' Rua knocked him out in a rematch of a controversial decision that went Machida's way. Ever since that moment in May of 2010, he has traded wins and losses and has got two title shots in that period, failing to win either of those fights, versus Jon Jones in December of 2011 and Chris Weidman of 2014. However one thing has always been abundantly true in his long tenure inside the organisation, and that is, whilst never going on long winning-streaks, he's always been able to mix it up with the best the company has to offer, be it at light-heavyweight or middleweight, a move which he made in October of 2014 after a stale light-heavyweight run before then. That was always the case for Machida... until April of 2015, when he was throughly man-handled by current champion, Luke Rockhold and just 2 months later, knocked out by Yoel Romero. After his recent string of losses in a row and the big factor of him being 37 now, many have dismissed him as elite anymore and have basically written him off in terms of ever getting elite status again, which is why his scheduled fight versus Dan Henderson is such a pivotal one for his career. He faces Henderson in a rematch of a lacklustre fight in February of 2013, next month. While many say it's too late for another title run, 'The Dragon' has other plans. Should he win in spectacular fashion next month, he firmly shuts up all the doubters, at least momentarily, and gets his confidence back most importantly. Should he lose, however, retirement is not out of the realm of possibility and it would likely force the Brazilian to at least ponder that thought or decide it's the right thing to do, this bringing an end to an illustrious career and an unforgettable one of a true legend. In many ways, Lyoto Machida faces a crossroads on the night of April 16 in Tampa. What path he ultimately faces, will be decided in the fight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *