Needless to say, Lyoto Machida’s last Octagon appearance at UFC 113 was a costly one. Not only because Mauricio “Shogun” Rua handed him his lone professional blemish, but his light heavyweight title was long gone by the time he came to. Although his last three scraps were of the championship variety, “The Dragon” states his UFC 123 shootout against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson packs unprecedented heat.
“It’s a different type of pressure,” Machida told MMAjunkie.com of the climb back up the totem pole. “It’s not external. It comes from the inside. I’m the one who wants it.
“It’s different than when one is the champion.”
Machida was efficiently going about his business until Shogun opted to go circa 2004 to reclaim the moniker of planet’s best 205-pounder. While their initial meeting at UFC 104 last October was marred in controversy, Rua left no doubt who the top dog was in their mulligan this past May.
“My one defeat taught me many things,” Machida admitted. “I’m still learning. This defeat gave me a greater hunger to pursue the belt.
“It is a short career. The upside is that one can stand out fairly quickly and gain respect. The downside is that sometimes one doesn’t receive just rewards since a single loss can change everything.”
The Brazilian’s road to redemption begins November 20th inside The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan. According to Machida, Octagon enthusiasts should expect to see “The Dragon” spitting some hot fire in The Motor City.
“We’ll keep working hard to try and please the fans,” Machida said. “On my next fight, I’ll give my best and it will be the ‘Return of the Dragon.'”