On September 26th Mark Munoz was training with Lyoto Machida for his upcoming October 26th bout, with Michael Bisping.
24 hours later, Bisping was a scratch from the fight due to a detached retina and in his place, Lyoto Machida.
As Munoz says, “it was nuts.”
Gone was the adversary that he was training for and in his place, a friend and training partner.
However, as Mark points out, he’s "resilient and adaptable” and he has to roll with the punches. As such, he said that although it threw him for a "loop" initially, he’s fine with it now, and that he and Machida will set their friendship aside for 25 minutes and “go at it.”
As to the outcome of this fight, it’s a hard one to call. Machida has shown two faces when dealing with high level and powerful wrestlers. On occasion, “The Dragon” has looked amazing; his fights with Ryan Bader, Randy Couture and Rashad Evans, most notably. However, against other wrestlers, he’s looked stale, flat, too conservative or simply outclassed; Phil Davis, Jon Jones & Tito Ortiz.
That said, he’s had the benefit of having trained with Munoz and will be very familiar with Mark’s style and timing. Of course the corollary to that is that Mark’s had the benefit of training with Machida, too. However, as Machida’s style and timing are so tricky, it probably stands to reason that Machida got the better of the deal.
If one thing might be said ahead of this match, it’s that Machida needs to up his game. He is a talented and tough fighter to say the least, but in his last two matches he’s sat around waiting for his opponents to make the perfect mistake and as such, has turned in two snooze fest fights; regardless of one of them being a victory.
Either way, it’s an important fight for both and the winner could well find himself looking at a title shot. Here’s hoping that the bout will be exciting.
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