Background check: Lyoto Machida

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Lyoto Carvalho Machida was born May 30th 1978 in Salvador, Brazil. He is 6ft 1in tall and weighs in at 205lb with a reach of 74 inches. He holds a black belt in BJJ,3rd dan in Shotokan Karate and is well versed in Machida karate and sumo. He trains with team Black House and his debut was in 2003 against Kengo Watanabe in NJPW: Ultimate Crush. Machida won by decision and has since built a record of 16-0.

Machida’s next fight was against Stephen Bonnar at Jungle fight 1. Machida won by TKO due to cut. He then knocked out Rich Franklin at the Inoki Festival in Japan. During his time in K-1 Machida fought and beat Michael McDonald, Sam Greco and BJ Penn.

Machida debuted in the UFC with a 9-0 record in 2007 at UFC 67. He won a decision over Sam Hoger and then beat David Heath and Kazuhiro Nakamura in the same manner at UFC 70 and 76 respectively. At UFC 79 Machida beat Remeau Thierry Sokoudjou via arm triangle choke. He then beat Tito Ortiz at UFC 84 by decision and brutally knocked out Thiago Silva at UFC 94 to earn a shot at th light-heavyweight title, then held by Rashad Evans. Machida vs Evans was the main event at UFC 98 and Machida beat the stand up fighter Rashad at his own game, scoring a devastating knock out in round 2 which saw Evans crumble to the ground and Machida the new champ.

Machida’s first title defense was a closely fought battle against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 104. The two battled for five rounds before the judges handed Machida a controversial unanimous decision win. Machida will face Rua for an eagerly awaited rematch at UFC 113 this May.