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List of Articles by Socrates Celestial



Lyoto Machida has the Spirit of a Champion

By Socrates Celestial
PhilBoxing.com
14 Oct 2011



Toronto, Canada. The humble, respectful and serious Lyoto Machida wants to reign the light-weight division once more. He has to earn it by defeating one of the most talented fighters to ever grace the UFC cage, Jon “Bones” Jones. This bout proves difficult to determine convincingly which fighter will be triumphant and for what reasons. On the one end, Machida has a massive amount of world experience, holding the light-heavyweight title before and has been in many professional circuits previous to the Ultimate Fighting Championships. The Brazilian born fighter has defied the odds and beaten some of the pound-for-pound best fighters any cage has seen. His Karate style is awkward for most classically trained MMA fighters that typically endorse Muay Thai Kick-Boxing, Boxing, Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu infusions and collaborations. His style is counter-active, elusive by not telegraphing his intentions and powerful. He demonstrates control in the octagon by not yielding to the pressure of frustrated fighters begging for a toe-to-toe brawl; rather his style is decisive and calculating.

Adversely, title-holder Jones is young, fresh, exciting, ferocious and multi-talented. This year alone in 2011 he has unarguably defeated three top contenders in his division, two of which are former title holders (Jackson and Rua) and now faces his fourth top contender which is also a former title holder, Machida. This is a first for the UFC. The only other fighter who comes close to these credentials would be Roger Huerta, fighting four top level fighters in his division. Comparable, but Huerta’s opponents were still not as high calibre as Jones’ opposition and Huerta was never defending a belt like Jones has with Jackson and will again in UFC 140. Jones is regarded as one of the present day’s best pound-for-pound mixed martial artists and is quickly becoming a fan favorite over other phenomenal fighters George St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. His skills are explosive, accurately, unorthodox and relentless.

So what can Machida do against this young, athletic force? He prides himself on his massive discipline and intense focus. This writer questioned him on why his style of Karate is so effective while other practitioners of Karate fail to break ground into the MMA market he replied (via translator) “I train in the real, true form of martial arts Karate. I obviously have competed in the sports side of Karate which is completely different, but I’m always with my family practicing the essence of the martial arts and bringing back what Karate really means and you can see that in the cage. When asked why the next generation of fighters should employ Karate instead of the typical recipe of Boxing, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu and Thai Boxing he commented that “Karate has a real educational side to it. It’s hard if you don’t find a Master that possess that real martial arts instinct and wasn’t brought up in that sort of variety. It’s hard to bring back those martial origins and you have to go into the regular sport Karate, which is what we regularly see”. The methodical Machida displayed a fair respect for the champion Jones, but when asked what the biggest threat the American champion posed for the Brazilian native, Machida simply answered, “It doesn’t matter; I’m more concerned with what I’m going to do. I’m not losing sleep thinking about what Jones is going to bring in. I’m more scared about what I’m going to do to him rather than what Jones is going to bring to the cage”.

The Brazilian never showed any signs of intimidation or entitlement. He speaks from the heart. In his mind, he is already the champion and treats this fight almost as a formality to officially become a titlist once again. When he speaks, it is not as though he is trying to convince himself or his fans as seen with many presumptuous cage fighters. This is a scary look into what a well-disciplined, martial artist can project of his endeavours without the cockiness or shrewdness seen in many professional athletes today. Machida is an icon for a myriad of reasons, but mainly now, it is a mark of excellence that he speaks with such abdominal spirit. Much like a sentinel for Karate, the family devotion, he reveals the true spectrum and guts of a champion and modern day warrior.

Photo: Philboxing's Rob Cruz (L) and Socrates Celestial (R) pose with Lyoto Machida.


Philboxing writer Socrates Celestial seated with UFC 140 Fighters at the Toronto Press Conference pitches a difficult question to Dana White broadcasted on National TV as seen on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FidQdi1Vd1c&feature=player_embedded



Back to Socrates Celestial's Articles Listing



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