by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
Lyoto Machida’s popularity, like his English, is coming on slowly.
He says he gets recognized more in the States because people haven’t gotten used to him like his hometown of Belem, Brazil.
Manager Ed Soares translates roughly half the questions, and Lyoto attempts the rest.
“I don’t worry about (Rashad’s) striking, (or) his wrestling, because I have confidence in my training, and I hope we have a great fight,” said Lyoto. “I study all his game, and I know what I can do.”
The main event for UFC 98 has managed to gain traction because the match-up doesn’t offer any easy answers, and because both fighters are undefeated. It could play out in a variety of ways, and neither fighter has given the media much to go on. Betting lines favor Machida, but not by much.
Asked for his plan on Saturday night, he defers to Soares, who feeds him this one, telephone-style: “Watch on Saturday night.”
Machida says his family has been planning for the fight for months. He estimates 80 percent of the talk at the dinner table revolves around fighting; the rest around other things (like women).
“Everybody (was) watching (Rashad’s) weakness, but I prefer not to say right now, and I will show you on Saturday,” he said.
Tomorrow, one of them will have a loss on their record, but Machida doesn’t think about whether it will be him.
“Of course, there is a lot of pressure on both fighters, but my training was very hard, and I feel very comfortable, and I don’t think about the pressure. I just keep my focus on the fight.”