There’s something about Brazilian vs. Brazilian matches that turn a lot of Brazilian UFC fighters off. Maybe they really believe in that whole national brotherhood stuff ... or maybe it has something to do with everyone being connected to everyone via very few degrees of separation.
For example, Lyoto Machida is fighting Vitor Belfort at UFC 224 in Rio, and it just so happens that Lyoto’s coach Vinicio Anthony was once Vitor’s coach. That’s definitely going to be an advantage for Machida.
”He has already trained Belfort, but I think that every fight is unique,” Machida explained to MMA Fighting. “Every training process is a process. That gives me an advantage in a technical aspect, of course, but a fight is way more than the technical part. A fight involves the emotion, the strategy of combat. There are many factors connected to a fight. The fact that he has known Vitor in the past is only one of them.”
But just to make it clear, this isn’t some crazy coach grudge match and Machida isn’t being devious about it. Anthony coached Machida to his win over Eryk Anders at UFC Belem, so Lyoto is going to stick with him. No disrespect intended!
”I have a good relationship with (Vitor), we’ve trained together in the past, but we’re professionals and want to do our best for the fans,” Lyoto said. “This is a fight that could have happened in the past, but hasn’t. I have a lot of respect not only for the fighter, but the man Vitor Belfort. I think he has done a lot for the sport, and we all have to respect him. I mean, what’s in the past is in the past. Moments like those are part of any athlete’s career.”
The fight will mark the end of Belfort’s career, but Machida has no plans on stopping just yet. In fact, he still has his eye on a UFC belt.
”I feel well, I don’t think about stopping now,” he said. “I always say I still have a lot of wood to burn. I’m happy with my return and motivated for the next challenges. My goal is to put on a good fight and climb the ranking to earn another shot at the title again. I know that I still have fights to fight before I get there, but my focus is one challenge at a time.”
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