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Lyoto Machida: Enter The Dragon

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida will be fighting Chris Weidman for the middleweight belt tonight at UFC 175. Lyoto Machida remains a puzzle to most that he fights inside the Octagon. This is largely due to his very unique style. Though Machida has undergone the typical MMA training, such has Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in which he has a black belt, Muay Thai, and wrestling, the foundation of his style is karate, Machida Karate to be specific.

Derivative of Shotokan Karate, Lyoto's father, Yoshizo Machida began teaching his sons the family style of karate at a very young age, and he remains one of Lyoto's primary coaches. It shows in his fights also. Each way that Machida moves evidences his family's art. He comes out in a wide stance, with his hands loose, but relatively low, and in the same vein as the point karate tournaments he did for years, he is an expert with using his footwork to get inside, land, and then get out of danger before his opponent can counter.

Often described as being elusive, Machida is an expert on hanging on the outside, frustrating his opponents with kicks, and baiting them into chasing him. The BOOM, Machida counters with something hard, powerful, and typically fight-ending.

Now that we're in the age of the 'standard' UFC fighter, the good athlete who is good at all aspects but not necessarily great at any, it is a breath of fresh air to see a fighter like Machida. He is a true and unique specialist who prides himself on his ability to showcase the effectiveness of his family's art, just as the Gracie clan did over a decade ago with the very first UFC.