Lyoto Machida will defend, for the first time his UFC title on October 24. Ready to face Maurício “Shogun“ Rua, the karate fighter spoke with TATAME.com and reveled that he has more than one strategy for the combat. “The strategy is a secret... We have a plan A, B and C... It’ll depend of how the fight goes. I have plans to get off from any situation“, the champion guaranteed, without thinking about the glorious past of the former Pride champion. In exclusive interview, Lyoto commented Vitor Belfort’s karate training, the fight between the “Phenom” and Anderson Silva, Thiago Silva’s knockout over Keith Jardine and more.
How are the training for the fight?
We’re in the final training phase, on strategic part, of planning for the fight. The team is very connected and we believe a lot in our work.
Shogun was considered the number one of the category in 2007...
I’m not thinking about what Shogun has done, I’m concentrated on what I can do. I know he was the Pride champion and I am the UFC champion, but it won’t give me any advantage, it won’t give me one round of advantage. We’ll start from the same line, we had the same time of training... I’m focused on my train and on my fight.
Do you think he’ll be your toughest opponent?
Each fight has its peculiarity, this fight has its difficulty and its pressure, but every fight has its difficulties. Shogun is training hard, so I try to understand the fight in this way. Each fight has its particularities and that’s not different. I can’t say that this one or another one was harder, I know I have to be prepared for the worse.
What’s the strategy for the fight?
The strategy is a secret... We have a plan A, B and C... It will depend of how the fight will be, I have plans to get off any situation.
Are you training only in Belém?
I’m training only here, even because here I find every variables I need, all the components I gotta have to be successful, all together, where I have family, training and food. I don’t think that just because I’m far away from the big center I have go search for this.
Will you train with Anderson for this fight?
Anderson is kinda hurt, I think he’ll make a surgery on the elbow, we just trade information.
Belfort trained Karate for his last fight. What did you think of that?
At the moment of the fight he incorporated more the Karate to his style, but I think it was very important to him. He liked the opportunity, how he felt with this new, and it was very good to his career. He needed a remarkable victory, and that was against a known guy.
Vitor visited you at the beginning of the year and you trained together. Did he already show interest on Karate at that time?
He had already talked about, but as I was turned to the train with Rashad, two months to the fight, we just trade information, but it was a long time ago. We talked a little, he was there for just one day.
How do you think it’s gonna bet he fight between he and Anderson?
It’s a hard fight for both, but we can’t demerit none of them, they can’t underestimate themselves. Vitor was already a champion and Anderson is the champion, it’s going to be a tough fight. Both have to be well trained. I’m very focused on what I’m doing, so I don’t know how this fight is gonna be.
And in the case that one of them wants to train with you?
It’s a hard thing to say in the moment, because I don’t want to take sides. Anderson is part of my team, so it’s hard to say that. I’m more focused on what I’m doing, I’m not thinking about that.
UFC has a lot of Brazilians well on your category, as Cane and Minotouro, that will face each other. What do you think about that?
Brazil is going very well, with a lot of people on the tops. Banha is really well, Minotouro either, always defended Brazil very well on MMA and on Boxing, and now they’ll face each other... Maybe UFC want to select that, because there’s a lot of Brazilians in the tops. It shows Brazil’s evolution, showing that MMA is strong here.
Thiago Silva, your last opponent before the fight for the belt, won again. What did you think about the fight?
I thought Thiago fought well, he could make his game and won. I congratulate him, he deserves, this turn was important to him. I don’t have any problem with him, we’re professionals... He knew how to fight and make a big fight.