Shinzo Machida Returns to MMA in December

By Chris Nelson Nov 2, 2010
Shinzo and Lyoto Machida: Marcelo Alonso | Sherdog.com


When Lyoto Machida meets Quinton Jackson at UFC 123 on Nov. 20, it will mark the Brazilian’s first fight in nearly half a year. One month later, another member of the Machida clan will reenter the ring following a much longer hiatus.

Shinzo Machida will take part in his first mixed martial arts action in four-and-a-half years on Dec. 15, when the older brother of the former UFC light heavyweight champion is expected to face countryman Leonardo Laiola at Win Fight and Entertainment’s “Platinum” event in Bahia, Brazil. Tatame.com reported the match-up on Tuesday.

A fourth-dan black belt in Shotokan karate and brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Machida made his MMA debut under the Jungle Fight banner in May 2005, where he scored a decisive first-round TKO over muay Thai practitioner Cristiano Rosa. His only other MMA bout was a second-round submission loss to Bryan Rafiq in April 2006, also for Jungle Fight.

Less is known of Machida’s opponent, Laiola, a pupil of Champion Team head coach and renowned boxing instructor Luiz Dorea. The Baiano holds a 4-1 record, with three wins coming by way of decision.

Having previously competed at 176 pounds, the 32-year-old Machida has been looking forward to making his return -- and dropping down in weight -- since the beginning of the year.

“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,” Machida told Sherdog.com’s Marcelo Alonso in a January interview. “I think the 70-kilogram (155 pounds) class will be a nice category for me.”

The elder Machida was even rumored to be nearing a deal to enter World Extreme Cagefighting’s lightweight division, but the timing of this fight announcement suggests that the pending UFC-WEC merger may have put those plans on hold. Given his karate credentials and famous last name, however, Machida is likely to garner interest from any number of promotions, should his next outing prove successful.
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