Lyoto Machida is the third son of Shotokan Karate master Yoshizo Machida, who moved to Brazil from Japan when he was 22. Under his father’s tutelage, young Machida learned martial arts and earned his black belt by age 13, winning many tournaments. He also learned sumo, boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
After competing in Japan and Brazil and defeating opponents like BJ Penn and Stephan Bonnar, his first fight in America was in WFA against Vernon White, a bout he won by decision. This gave him an impressive 8-0 record and caught the attention of the UFC.
Machida debuted at UFC 67 in February 2007, and went undefeated for a total record of 16-0 by October 2009. He became their light heavyweight champion and amassed wins over Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, and Thiago Silva, before losing back-to-back matches against Rua and Quinton Jackson.
After this, he bounced back with a jumping front kick KO over Randy Couture in 2011, only to lose to Jon Jones at UFC 140 in his chance to reclaim his title.
After mixed luck in the light heavyweight division, Machida dropped to middleweight where he defeated Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi to earn a crack at Chris Weidman’s championship. Unsuccessful in his quest to take the belt from the All-American wrestler, Machida has continued to work his way through the division and hopes to claim another UFC title.
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