Live blog from UFC 104
Like Gracie and his clan, Machida's family has taken an art -- karate -- and adapted it to work in competition that demands open borders. His is a style that favors defense and precision. Don't get hit. Don't get hurt. Counter and damage and fluster and win.
Yet for as much is made of his flawless technique, it's a trait that separates great fighters from the rest that made Machida better than each of the 15 men he's faced as a professional fighter.
"The physical part and the technique everyone pretty much has," said Lyoto's karate master father Yoshizo. "I believe the difference is mental strength."
Thus far, Machida has been so overwhelming in competition that resolve hasn't been an issue. These days, the 31-year-old Brazilian's mental strength is reserved for fending off the banality and complacency that can come with anyone within earshot speaking of your greatness. Refusing to buy into that can be as mentally taxing as five rounds in the cage.
"My father brought me up with the samurai spirit," Machida said. "Two people can be doing the same thing, but if you have a different mindset one of them is going to excel."
Still, after a stoppage victory over
It will be aggression and passion against counter-fighting and serenity in a bout most, including myself, expect Machida to prevail.
"Whatever Shogun decides to do," Machida said. "I have a plan."