Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (22-5) is prepped and ready to face Luke Rockhold (13-2) for a possible second opportunity at a UFC Middleweight Title. An opportunity he will not want to pass up as Machida is nearing 40 years of age. He will occupy the main event slot for the UFC once more at UFC on Fox 15.
Machida spoke with Everything Martial Arts and covered a variety of topics including his thoughts of his traditional approach to the sport, and if he believes other competitors could benefit from it.
“It’s hard to be like that,” replied Machida. “Because everyone comes (from a) different way … For example, some people, come from wrestling. They don’t have a very traditional philosophy of martial arts. Then it’s hard to regress something like that from people that don’t know. I grew up like that. My father is a master in karate. He always taught me the philosophy of karate. When I’m talking about philosophy, I mean respect, willpower, self confidence. Those qualities, I think it’s very important, not just for fighting, but for any person. Doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, if you are a lawyer, or something like that, you have to have this philosophy.”
“When you have something within, it becomes more easy. Then I was raised, I grew up like that, because my father taught me everything. Then every day I try to challenge myself, everyday I try to respect someone, I try to know what is my limit. I cannot cross the line, I cannot bother someone, I cannot – I know my limits, I know what I can do. Then I try to do, every day, stuff like that.”
‘The Dragon’ was asked what most important to him.
“To keep my principles,” he said. “To keep my principles, I think, is the most important thing. Every day, everyone change, it’s normal, but your principles never can change.”
Machida was asked about his intimidation games that he plays with his opponents through his dragon like eyes.
“Just to be calm,” he said, smiling. “To look in his eyes, every time. And concentrate with myself. I try to not put a lot of pressure, I try to not put a lot of emotion in my fights, in my staredown. I try to be very empty. No emotion. No mind. Nothing like that.”