Lyoto nearly ready for return

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Lyoto celebrates victory over Shogun. Photo: Josh Hedges

Lyoto celebrates victory over Shogun. Photo: Josh Hedges

Lyoto Machida was a show apart at Platinum Fight last Saturday, in Rio de Janeiro. A receptive star, he graciously took photos with and handed autographs out to his fans, who requested them over and over again. At a given moment he also had a chat with Paulão Filho, who spared no praise for the UFC champion. In a conversation with GRACIEMAG.com, Machida spoke of his port-surgery recovery, when he will get to work preparing for Maurício Shogun and much more. Check out the interview:

It demands special preparations” Lyoto Machida, regarding Shogun rematch

How is your hand recovering?

Recovery is going well. One more week and I take the brace off and intensify the physiotherapy. I’m still doing aerobic training and weight lifting for my lower body. I’m keeping fit not to have to start from scratch when I get back to training.

And when do you get back to work for your rematch with Shogun?

At the moment I’m kind of on holiday, training real light. Starting at the beginning of January I’ll gear my preparations towards the Shogun fight. It was a really tough fight and I’ll need to do special preparations to be at high performance at the event in Montreal (May 1st).

Your division in the UFC is stacked with tough opposition, besides the arrival of Rogerio Minotouro and the return of Tito Ortiz. Quinton Jackson is back, too. What will it take to hang on to that belt?

It really is a hotly disputed category. Light heavyweight has technical and fast guys, who are also really strong. There are a lot of Brazilians at that weight. That makes the category tougher, but overall everyone gains from that, because the one to be champion really deserves it. The crowd also gains, because they get to watch great fights at great events. All I can do is train hard to keep the belt.

MMA fighters weren’t interested in karate, but that has changed a lot, mainly for your results in the UFC…

It’s proof that arts deserve respect. All of them were created for real combat. Because of the growth of the sport (karate), the rules were modified and it lost a bit of its essence as a fight. We are bringing that back and I don’t consider myself the only one responsible for that. These days there are a lot of teachers working on that. All that is of great importance for karate’s growth.

The fans love you. How do you deal with the attention?

I’m happy because it shows not just that the sport is growing, but that fans’ understanding is, too. It is also due to the work the specialized media is doing, as it gives us a lot of support. That is of enormous importance for the sport’s growth. So this attention can only happen because of all this work being done to make the sport grow more with every day.

Lyoto chats with Paulão alongside manager Jorge Guimarães. Photo: Carlos Ozorio

Lyoto chats with Paulão alongside manager Jorge Guimarães. Photo: Carlos Ozorio

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