Is there room inside the Octagon for more than one Machida? UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida believes so.
Shinzo Machida may lack his younger brother’s mixed martial arts credentials, but he remains the only Brazilian to finish as high as second in the World Shotokan Karate Championships, having done so in Japan back in 2006. The 32-year-old, still the number one Shotokan fighter in Brazil, has won countless South American, Brazilian and Pan American competitions.
Shinzo also has two MMA appearances under his belt, both under the Jungle Fight banner, but has not competed since he submitted to a Bryan Rafiq guillotine choke nearly four years ago. With an aggressive style that impressed Amazon fans who witnessed his MMA fights, he has designs on a return.
“Actually, I just fought MMA to test myself, because Lyoto was already doing it, but in 2010, fighting in MMA will be one of my goals,” Shinzo said. “I think the 70-kilogram (155 pounds) class will be a nice category for me.”
Shinzo indicated that his managers, Eddie and Jorge Guimaraes, were already putting out feelers in the MMA world.
“It can be the WEC, UFC … let’s see,” the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt said.
Perhaps better known as his younger brother’s lead trainer, Shinzo figures to be anchored in Lyoto’s corner when he meets Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in their anticipated rematch in May. He credited Shogun for his performance at UFC 104, where he dropped a controversial unanimous decision to the light heavyweight champion.
“Shogun really used a nice strategy to neutralize my brother’s moves, but Lyoto looked for the knockout all the time, so I think the result was pretty fair,” Shinzo said. “Lyoto clearly won rounds one, two and three. I would score the fourth round even, and Shogun won the fifth round. But Shogun never tried to finish the fight.”
In wake of the victory, while Lyoto recovered from hand surgery, Shinzo, his father and his other brother, Take, went to work, studying the tape and devising a new strategy for the rematch.
“We already made many notes in a paper notebook in a couple of meetings we had right after the fight,” Shinzo said. “We know we made mistakes and need to improve. We will bring new things for the second fight. Our main goal is always to hit and to avoid getting hit. That’s the essence of Japanese martial arts, and we will train hard for Lyoto to reach that goal and keep his belt.”