Lyoto Machida has long been know as one of the most unorthodox, challenging fighters in Mixed martial arts history.
His unique style has proven too much for the majority of his opponents. Apart from his controversial losses to Quinton Jackson and Phill Davis, only two men have really solved "The Dragons" puzzle. Upcoming opponent, Gegard Mousasi, thinks he could be the next.
The two 185lb. contenders are due to collide at UFC Fight Night 36, in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Mousasi is looking to build on his seven fight win streak to get his second straight win since dropping back down to middleweight.
There are very few men in the the world who have had success in a striking battle against "The Dragon", but speaking to MMAFighting.com recently "The Dreamcatcher"said he's ready for Machida and he thinks he matches up well stylistically.
"I already know how Machida fights style-wise, and I have a training partner that has fought him twice in karate, so I will be ready for him."
"I’m more of a kickboxer, he’s a counter puncher," he said. "He takes his time and has good feeling of distance. My style is to come forward and keep the pressure, so I think I’m gonna match up really well."
Mousasi is no doubt confident about his skills coming into his fight with Machida. A impressive win over "The Dragon" could very well grant him a title shot. Mousasi thinks Vitor Befort will get the next shot at the middleweight title but he says if he gets the chance then he doesn't mind waiting for his.
"Vitor Belfort is going to get the next shot and I think my fight against Machida is gonna determine the No. 1 contender, but it could take a long time," he said. "After this, if I win, I’d have to wait for a long time. I’ll concentrate on this one. But if I have to wait for a title shot, I’m gonna wait."
"It’s not up to me. Personally, I would like to get a title shot. I think I’ve done enough. But that’s not up to me. First I have to perform and win in a good fashion, and then we’ll go from there."
The UFC are not usually happy about fighters sitting out and waiting for title shots. We've seen them recently push for heavyweight contender, Fabricio Werdum, to take another fight instead of waiting for his shot at the champ Cain Velasquez.
A win over the former UFC light-heavyweight champion would more than likely put Mousasi next in line, but he may have to think again if he plans on waiting for a title shot.
Before that however, Mousasi will have to get through Machida; which will be far from easy. Do you think he has what it takes to beat "The Dragon"?