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Don’t be surprised if Machida takes Jones down

Don’t be surprised if Machida takes Jones down

December 4, 2011

Former UFC champion, Lyoto Machida wants to return to the top of the division, but to do so he needs to overcome the tough Jon Jones, on December 10th, on the main event of UFC 140. On an exclusive chat with TATAME TV in Belem, Para, the Karate fighter talked about his trainings, the support of King Mo in Wrestling and how to stop “Bones”.

How are you doing on this final phase of y our prep?

Well, we’re on a stage where we’re a lot focused, we talk a lot, I slowed it a lot down, because I was on a sequence of eight hard weeks of preparation, including the technical and physical parts, because we know I’m a lot demanded on that aspect on a bout like this one. So, we’re basically on the competition period already, wondering about what can we do, discussing what can we use during the event on December 10th, and that’s pretty much it.

You brought Glover and now King Mo is also here to help you. Did you work the stand-up with Glover and the takedowns with King Mo?

Actually, I also brought Anderson Bradock, who’s a guy that fights in K-1, he’s a great K-1 fighter. I brought him and Glover on the first moment. They stayed here for two weeks. On that period we tried to do many sparrings, simulating similar situations I’ll might confront during the fight, also on the clinch, the takedowns. We know Glover is a high lever fighter and why he’s been smashing everybody down here in Brazil, and I’m sure he’ll make a good career abroad, and Bradock also helped me a lot to simulate the fight. Then Glover had to go because he was fighting and then I brought King Mo to add a lot. He’s a high level fighter in Wrestling, he has been a world champion on the Pan Am, he has defeated Olympic champions, so he knows the details of the position that can help me block his game during the fight, and I guess that’s the main aspect. I guess the technical part is the most important one for a fight like that, because I’m fighting a very technical guy. Jon Jones knows many techniques, he’s can do many things, so that’s why I’m trying to improve more and more my wrestling.

You brought him eyeing the takedown defense, since Jon Jones is a good wrestler and can take you down? Or will you try to get him on his back, something never seen before?

Well, I guess it’s hard to predict how things will go on during the fight, but we trained a lot offensive wrestling, me taking him down. Besides the takedown defenses, we trained counterattacks with the takedowns, so if I take him down, it won’t be a surprise for me, for my team, because we know what we’ve been doing here. Our greatest goal is to win the fight, in any area it takes place, no matter if it’s on the stand-up, the wrestling or on the ground. I want to have an advantage in all areas.

Everybody says you’re the one to defeat Jon Jones. How do you take this trust the Brazilians have towards you?

I’m really happy and honored to have this responsibility, to know I have the tools to fight a guy who’s the current champion. But, to be honest, I try not to think about it, because it might disturb me and event prevent me from making my next step. I try to keep focused, I try not to think about if I’m the man to beat him or not. I guess the most important thing is the training. The training will bring us to the fight, it’ll lead the fight wherever it goes.

Jon Jones is very versatile and you keep moving forwards and backwards. Do you believe it’s a good match-up?

I believe I can control my distance and how long does it take for me to get in and out of his radar. Since Jon Jones is very versatile, I also ought to be to try to be versatile to make it settled. We trained many attacks too on the stand-up so that we can have another tools. Many times, Jon Jones prefers to use the counterattacks, waiting for the fight to happen, so we need also to have this tool so we can defeat our opponent.

You fought for the title one time and became a champion. Are you more nervous now? How does it feel?

I believe this time the pressure is on, I feel the same anxiety, I can’t deny it, it feels the same, because you want it to happen, it want it as soon as possible, but today I believe I’m more mature, because each day that comes by, each years that goes by, each fight that goes by, it’s natural for you to become more mature. And now I can control it better, manager this conflicts inside us, not the fight itself, but the inside conflicts, like anxiety, fear, the will… Everything must be balances so that we can have what we call performance, because our greatest goal is the performance on December 10th.

How do you see the growth of the sport? Now, Brazil holds three out of the seven belts and you’re fighting for the fourth.

We’re very happy to see how it’s growing fast, we’re happy to see Brazil embracing this MMA proposal with a lot of affection. We can feel it with our fans, and the general media, so it’s a good thing for the sport. It’s good for everybody and we know it. But it’s on the beginning of the journey. There’s a long way to go, many things to develop. We know it’s a growing sport, not only in Brazil, but in the entire world, and this support and recognition we have of people coming and talk to us, saying like “Lyoto, I’m cheering for you in the name of Brazil, in the of your state”. I’m very glad about it.

On this growth, Anderson might have become the most popular fighter. Many people said he’d come here to help you, but he never came. Have you, at least, talked to him?

I talked to Anderson on the phone like three or four times, and we talked a lot. He sent me a video, telling me to train that. He shoot a video there saying what he thought I should focus more my training on for this fight, he showed me a different coup, saying I can use it. So, he always tries to help me the way he can. We can tell Anderson is very helpful, mainly with his friends. You can see his worry to come and talk to me. I know he wants me to bring another title to our Brazil.

Send your message for the Brazilians who cheer for you.

I’d first like to thank all the support I’ve been having of my sponsors, the state government, and also thank the Brazilian fans, because I get messages from all over Brazil asking for an autograph, a t-shirt, a message. I’m really glad to be able to pay them by with my fights, to send my message using a sport as a tool. And I wanna say that, on December 10th, the most important thing is that I’ll be there giving my best. I believe I’ve already done that on the trainings, so it was a great victory. And a victory is built, and we’re building it with the trainings we planned, we did. Thank you a lot. I want you to know that on December 10th you’ll be all cheering for me there and I’ll be pouring my heart out in there to bring this belt home.

Source: Tatame