It's important to remember that this is a hand-picked quote taken from an article written in Portuguese and translated. and that MMA sports media tends to be sensationalist. I'm sure it sounds different in context.
That said, it's a lot easier to look for submission opportunities on the jumbotron than it is off your back while being elbowed in the head, as Machida should know all too well. Also, if the Gracies say the position made it difficult for Vitor to complete the armbar, I will take their word for it.