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Fight Archives: Lyoto Machida notches first of two career submission wins

In a rare moment in time, Lyoto Machida forced a man to submission via a choke.

Lyoto Machida celebrates after his K-1 win over Michael “The Black Sniper” McDonald in 2004.
Lyoto Machida celebrates after his K-1 win over Michael “The Black Sniper” McDonald in 2004.

There was a time when Lyoto Machida was considered a rare specimen in MMA. Fans were all about his “unpredictable” Shotokan Karate style, which wasn’t seen too much in the sport at the time.

Looking at The Dragon’s record, you’ll find 11 knockout wins and only two victories via submission. One of those wins happened early on in his career as a K-1 fighter against kickboxer Michael McDonald (not to be confused with the former UFC interim title contender).

The fight happened in Japan in 2004. It was Machida’s fourth professional fight while “The Black Sniper” was making his MMA debut.

Normally, we’d see Machida use his feints and unconventional attacks on the feet. But this time, he immediately engaged a tie-up after a quick lead straight and landed a picture-perfect body lock takedown. Textbook old-school MMA.

The ground fight showed McDonald’s seeming lack of experience. Instead of attempting a sweep or disengaging and getting back up, he held onto an overhook while laying flat on his back. This gave Machida the leverage to maneuver to a better position and use some basic jiu-jitsu.

Machida eventually manages to get his right forearm across McDonald’s neck. Gi jiu-jitsu practitioners are likely very familiar with this move, which resembles a bread cutter choke. Machida pushes his elbow towards the mat as if he was driving a barbell down McDonald’s throat and forcing a tap.

The 57-year-old McDonald took on one last MMA fight in 2008 against Duke Roufus’ older brother Rick and won via decision. His final kickboxing and overall professional bout took place in 2008, which he won via fourth-round TKO.

The 43-year-old Machida, meanwhile, is down to the last fight of his Bellator contract as he takes on Fabian Edwards at Bellator London on May 13th.

For those looking for a hit of nostalgia on a Thursday, hopefully, this would suffice.