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Lyoto Machida Putting the Spar Back in Sparring

Written by Tom Ngo
September 10th, 2010
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UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida tried something new in preparing for his light heavyweight title defense at UFC 113, “The Dragon” didn’t do much of any sparring to prepare for his rematch with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. By the time he regained consciousness, his unblemished resume and title belt were long gone.

Although spending his entire training camp in his homeland of Brazil resulted in a 1stRound knockout loss, “The Dragon” has absolutely no regrets, but he has certainly learned his lesson.

“Really, I was very focused while training in Belem,” Machida told GracieMag.com. “I’m not going to say it was a mistake because I believe you can train anywhere, but when you have a lot of sparring partners, the technical level of people competing makes it much better to test yourself – to feel how you’ll react in determined situations. It’s important. I trained with Anderson [Silva] and Mark Munoz’s wrestling guys.

“I foresee a return trip [to the USA] and [having] several exchanges. I want to train at several academies because I don’t hold myself to one in particular. I feel that’s important.”

When Machida migrates stateside, you’ll likely find him brawling with his Brazilian buddies at Team Black House or just down the I-405 at Munoz’s Reign Training Center in Lake Forrest, California. There’s no denying the pool of talent he has to choose from when he hits So Cal is vast, so it’s obvious why he’s been racking up his frequent flier miles for his current training camp.

Speaking of which, Machida’s road to redemption begins at UFC 123 on November 20th against a fellow former champion in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. While things didn’t quite go his way last May, the 32-year-old believes everything will fall into place by the time he hits Motown.

“Couldn’t be a better opponent and the date is great, too. It gives me time to prepare,” he stated. “I already did an exchange in the USA and I foresee doing another one. I’m happy to be back and to prove I’m in the mix with the best of them.

“I’m working hard, I’m correcting a lot of things and putting a lot of effort in.”

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