Lyoto Machida’s debut

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Brothers Shinzo and Lyoto on the bank of Rio Negro. Photo: Marcelo Dunlop.

As a web surfer with a sense of humor posted upon watching the Lyoto Machida versus Stephen Bonnar fight on youtube.com, “I’d hate to be the guy sitting behind the tree at Jungle Fight.”

But it wasn’t all that bad, and Wallid Ismail and Antonio Inoki didn’t put seats behind the decorative trees at this first event for the two of them. Thus, the worst place in the house was right there in the ring across from a young Machida, who with a black belt in karate and purple in Jiu-Jitsu made his Brazilian MMA debut, after an obscure fight in Japan. Now he counts 16 wins in an undefeated career.

Rio Negro, Amazon, October 13, 2003

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