Fighter and Jiu-Jitsu professor Renzo Gracie has a saying that Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson should take note of, if they’re not familiar with it yet.
It has pretty much been the theme of the careers of the two MMA aces, who are tipped to face off in the co-main event at UFC 157 on February 23 in Anaheim, California—no longer at UFC 156 on Super Bowl weekend. The winner will be on an inevitable collision course with the champion of the light heavyweight division, Jon Jones. The show is still lacking a marquee fight, according to MMAFighting.com‘s Ariel Helwani.
But what matters is that the fight will indeed be going down in February 2013. As Renzo Gracie preached in a GRACIEMAG interview a while back:
“There’s no better way to prove how good you are than against the best. If a guy says he’s the best in the world, it’s in his direction that you’d better be gunning, not elsewhere,” said the Gracie.
It’s an adage that should echo in GSP’s head, or Anderson Silva’s, or Jon Jones’s—but that’s a different issue.
As far as Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida are concerned, the lesson is quite pertinent. Ever since back in his days at Pride FC, Henderson has never turned down a first-rate opponent. For his last fight, exactly one year ago, he took on Mauricio Shogun at UFC 139 and won, even after getting mounted and pounded on as the final frame of the fight drew to a close.
And there’s plenty to be said about Lyoto, who has accepted all comers ever since his career began, so long as he had able time to train, of course. When the dreaded Sokoudjou came on the scene, for instance, Lyoto’s manager Jorge “Joinha” Guimarães called him during his honeymoon to offer the fight. Lyoto didn’t think twice before accepting.
So how does one forge such a mind, driven as theirs are? That’s precisely what the issue of GRACIEMAG currently on bookstands addresses.
Tough rivals, sharp Jiu-Jitsu
For this month’s issue of GRACIEMAG, now at better bookstores around the world, we set up a meeting between Bráulio Estima and André Galvão to discuss the subjects of rivalry, fear and evolution. If you want to know how to build a strong mind and a love of challenges, like all the aforementioned fighting aces possess, you’d best not miss it.
And check out the following lists to refresh your memory of the stalwart opposition that helped carve out Hendo and Machida’s places at the top of the heap. Can you think of any fighters on the UFC roster with records as respectable as these two’s?
Dan Henderson’s victims:
Rafael Feijão, Renato Babalu, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Rousimar Toquinho, Wanderlei Silva, Murilo Ninja, Renzo Gracie, Rodrigo Minotauro, Carlos Newton and Allan Góes.
(Lost to Anderson Silva, Jake Shields, Rampage, Wand, Ricardo Arona, Minotauro and Minotouro)
Lyoto Machida’s victims:
Ryan Bader, Shogun, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, BJ Penn, Thiago Silva, Rich Franklin, Stephan Bonnar, Michael McDonald, Kazuhiro Nakamura and Rameau Sokoudjou.
(Lost to Rampage, Shogun and Jon Jones)