On Saturday at “UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields,” Randy Couture proved once again that the face-to-foot defense is not the business. After Anderson Silva credited Steven Seagal for schooling him in the art of the front kick when he floored Vitor Belfort at UFC 126, Lyoto Machida posted a highlight reel strike of his own last night – and Mr. Seagal’s footprints were all over it.
“I went back and trained a lot of the karate that brought me to where I am today,” Machida stated at the post-fight press conference. “I trained this kick a lot. I’ve had it in my arsenal and I just had to wait for the right moment to pull the trigger and utilize it.
“[Seagal] always reinforced to me to try that kick, and when it lands, it will work. I definitely give credit to him for helping me perfect that kick. The technique itself, [Anderson and I have] known for a long time. But I definitely think that Seagal helping us perfect it made a difference.”
Not too many moons ago, “The Dragon” was set to launch the ‘Machida Era’ on MMA’s light heavyweight division. After losing his title last May, he dropped his next scrap and was presented with a “must-win” situation from UFC president Dana White.
Understanding the reverse trifecta could end his days inside the Octagon, the Brazilian dug deep into his bag of tricks to unleash the Seagal-inspired kick. After extending his UFC career with the 2ndRound KO victory over “The Natural,” Machida expressed great admiration for the Hall of Famer he just retired.
“I came here to win the fight and that was my goal, but as a professional athlete who cares about other athletes, I definitely wanted to make sure that [Couture] wasn’t hurt and nothing serious happened to him,” said Machida. “I did notice [the ovation once Couture arose after the knockout].
“It’s completely well-deserved after everything Randy has done for this sport.”
Please click HERE to watch a video of Seagal and Machida training together.