Lyoto Machida managed to add another win to his record when he defeated Kazuhiro Nakamura via a unanimous decision at UFC 76-Knockout.
Machida was a bit disappointed with himself because he could not finish him through a submission or a KO. However, he says he understands that putting Nakamura away wasn’t going to be an easy task.
Although he wasn’t too satisfied with winning by decision, he’s going to take that victory and fight the next contender that decides to step in his path.
Here is an exclusive interview with the man himself:
Q: Congratulations on your win over KazuhiroNakamura at UFC 76?
LM: Thank you.
It looked liked you tried really hard to finish this fight a couple
times with strikes from the mount position. You also had a couple of
close submission attempts. Were you disappointed you didn’t finish
LM: I was a little disappointed I couldn’t
finish this fight, because in this particular fight I made a promise to
myself that I was going to finish the fight. Unfortunately I was not
able to do that, but with all due respect Nakamura is a very tough
fighter, and a hard guy to finish.
You were originally supposed to face Forrest Griffin. Were you
surprised he sub’d Shogun, and do you still want to fight him?
LM: Yeah I was surprised. I defiantly thought Shogun would win that fight. I would love to fight Forest.
Q: If you had your choice who would you like to fight next?
LM: I would like to fight Keith Jardine. Keith KO’d Forest, and just took out Chuck, so that’s who I want to fight.
Many former Pride Fighters have had a hard time recently being
successful in the UFC. What do you think is the biggest contributing
factor: the cage, the rules, the drug testing policy in America, or are
UFC fighters just plain better?
I think it is a combination of all those things you just mentioned.
Some fighters aren’t used to fighting in the cage. The steroid testing
that could be an issue also. But most of all I feel there is a lot more
pressure on a fighter in the UFC. There are so many eyes watching you,
but your right it’s a combination of all these things, and depending on
whom the fighter is one factor may play a larger role then another.
You have had a lot of success in the UFC thus far. What advice would
you give to Pride Fighters that are coming to the UFC to fight?
For those fighters coming into the UFC they need to take the time to
study, and prepare for all situations you can find yourself in inside
Lyoto you have fought both in the cage and in the ring. You have
fought under K-1 rules, Pride style rules, and the unified rules. What
is your preference?
LM: I prefer the UFC Rules and
fighting inside the octagon. All the organizations I have fought for
have there pro’s and con’s. For me and my style of fighting I like the
Octagon and the unified rules.
You landed some nice elbows from the top position against Nakamura.
Who has been instrumental in transitioning elbows into your mixed
martial arts game?
LM: My Muy Thai coach over at Black
House really focuses on elbows and knees. He stresses to us all the
time that a fight can be determined off one elbow or one knee, so we
work very hard on training these.
You landed some nice knees from the Muy Thai clinch position on
Nakamura. Do you work on your Muy Thai skills with your teammate
LM: For this particular fight I didn’t get
to train with Anderson much, because of our fight schedules, and we
live in different states. In the past we have trained a lot together,
and he has given me a lot of good advice about my Muy Thai technique,
and added a lot of technical aspects to my game. Anderson is a master
in the clinch with both knees and elbows.
Anderson has a title defense coming up next month against Rich Franklin
at UFC 77 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Do you think it’s fair that he has to
fight Rich in his hometown considering he is the champion, and has
already knocked Rich out?
LM: I don’t find this to be
fair. I don’t think he should have to go to Rich’s hometown to defend
his title. That being said I think Anderson will go into Cincinnati,
and prove to the world why he is the middleweight champion.
Rio Hero’s made its debut in Brazil recently under Jorge Pereira. It
is a return to no rules style of MMA. Do you support this organization?
I don’t support this at all. The organizations that are doing it
correctly are working under the sanctioned rules. This type of
organization is no good for fighters. The sanctioned rules are in
place to protect the fighters.
Q: You have a background in Sumo wrestling. How has this helped with your mixed martial arts career?
It has given me a stronger base and a lot more explosion from my hips,
which help in defending and taking people down. It has given me a
better balance and a solid base.
I know you train with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira over at Black House. He
seemed to fatigue in his first fight in the UFC against Heath Herring.
Has he been working on his cardio?
LM: Minatouro is for
sure improving his cardio. It is important for a fighter to work on
their weakest strength. He is one of the best fighters in the world.
His next fight will be a much better fight for him.
Q: You have fought some of the top names in the sport and are still undefeated. Who would you say your toughest fight was?
The Rich Franklin fight was pretty tough. It was only my third fight
of my career, and he came in with a lot more experience. Most people
thought I was going to lose the fight. Even my manager at the time
told me he thought I was going to lose, but I believed in my heart that
I could beat him. After all those who doubted me it was very
satisfactory to be the first one to knock Rich Franklin out.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans in closing?
LM: Thank you very much for the opportunity. I like doing interviews, so my fans can get to know me. Fighting MMA is my life. When I am not training I am still thinking about it.
Every time I fight I am trying to get better, so my fans can be more
satisfied with my performances.
(props to fightbeat.com)