It was surgical in its application and a sight to behold. Lyoto Machida sent Randy Couture into retirement with a flying kick -- more precisely a Mae Tobi Geri -- and almost immediately repositioned himself in the LHW division as a viable, dangerous contender. Now, Machida admits that the flying kick heard around the world was inspired, obviously enough, on The Karate Kid movies.
Translated from Globo.com's Combate website:
"Who hasn't seen those movies before? Karate Kid 1, 2, 3...All of those who lived in that era had the privilege of watching 'Daniel-San' and learn something from him. Although not technically efficient, there are some things you can extract from it philosophically. And I got something more out of it, the cinematographic kick that I brought to real life," said Machida.
In the movie, the character played by Ralph Macchio gets into karate after being bullied by some of the kids in his school. Machida says he went through similar situations, but faced them with good humor and never let it get to him. To his children and disciples, he teaches that it is always best to treat everyone with respect.
"I always tell them that it is very important to never bother anyone. We need to know where our limits are and to be careful not to extrapolate beyond them. If you respect your neighbor, a lot of these things can be avoided."