Lyoto Machida is one of the first fighters in the sport’s modern era to show and prove that Karate can work in MMA. “The Dragon” even scored two sensational front kick KO wins in the UFC, both of which remain part of his many highlight reels today.
Four years ago today, Lyoto Machida slept Vitor Belfort with a front kick— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) May 12, 2022
Early this month at UFC 274, Michael Chandler ended his fight with Tony Ferguson in a similar yet seemingly more brutal fashion. And while many other experts out there would find something to criticize in Chandler’s technique, Machida is giving it a perfect ‘10.’
Michael Chandler just sent Tony Ferguson to the SHADOW REALM pic.twitter.com/8r3b9JMPqC— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 8, 2022
“Martial arts, like the name says, is art,” he told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “And like art, anything can come from it. You look at a painting from Leonardo da Vinci and sometimes you don’t see beauty, but someone with more sensibility than you will be able to see something there. ‘This is so beautiful, look at what this person thought.’
“It’s the same thing with a kick like this. I look at martial arts in a holistic way, you know? Did it work well? So it’s a 10.”
For Machida, an effective technique is an effective technique, regardless of how you execute it.
“I’m the type of guy that sees the martial arts in a global way,” he explained. “‘Oh, this mae geri, this front kick had no technique, he kicked from down up.’ Did it work? It did. If it worked, it’s good.
“We tend to diminish [others]. It’s not easy to land a kick like that. [People criticize,] ‘If his feet was like that, or his knee was a bit bent.’ I don’t care. What matters to me is how effective it was.
“[If] I’m going out to hunt and I have the best weapon, but I wasn’t effective, what’s the point? [If] my weapon isn’t that good, but I went there and killed the animal? That means I was effective, that I did it well.”
The 43-year-old Machida (26-12) is currently signed under Bellator MMA. He last saw action at Bellator 281 two weeks ago against Fabian Edwards and lost via first-round knockout, marking his fourth straight defeat.