Two months ago, on April 18, Lyoto Machida was forced to tap out to Luke Rockhold in the UFC on Fox 15 main event. Immediately following the loss, “The Dragon” wanted to return to the cage as soon as possible.
“It was devastating to lose that fight the way it happened. The only thing that crossed my mind was that I would like to be here and fight again. Now I have another chance,” Machida recently said in an interview with UFC.com.
On June 27, Machida returns to action against sixth-ranked Yoel Romero.
“It’s a great opportunity for me. I like to be busy and fight many times a year and showcase all my potentials,” the former light heavyweight titleholder told UFC Tonight.
Romero, the 2000 Olympic Silver medalist in freestyle wrestling, is more than just a wrestler. Eight of his nine wins have been by knockout.
“Even though he’s a wrestler, he knows how to fight standing up. He knows how to keep the distance,” said Machida about his opponent. “But I believe in myself and my background in karate. I have a better chance than him and will be prepared on Saturday.”
At 37 years old, the clock is ticking down on Machida’s career. He’s been a champion. He’s been a contender in two different weight classes. The Brazilian knows that a loss to Romero could dash his hopes at earning another title shot before the curtain draws closed on his legacy.
“I have to win this fight because I want to get back in the mix for the title shot. If I apply my technique, my punches, my kicks, my hand will be raised.”