If I were to sum up Lyoto Machida's fighting style in two or less words I know exactly what I would say. Powerful and elusive.
Machida has been a tough nut to crack in his time in the UFC. He has baffled and mesmerized opponents from Ryan Bader to Shogun Rua to current champion Jon Jones.
Machida's fighting style is heavily influenced by his background in Shotokan karate where he holds the rank of a black belt. He also employs techniques from Brazilian jiu jitsu, where he is also a black belt.
That's not all, as Machida also trains in wresting, Judo and Sumo to be prepared for anything that his opponent can throw at him.
Machida's style is most often called elusive and for good reason. It begins with his stance. In his fights, Machida will stand with his legs spread a bit wider and his torso turned sideways. That not only makes him a harder target to hit but also much harder to take down.
One skill Machida has absolutely mastered is his footwork. Machida's footwork is incredibly fluid. He is able to effortlessly turn away from his opponents then angle out and fire shots at any opening he receives.
This frustrates his opponents greatly and some have tried to charge him in an attempt to do some damage. Machida is waiting for that, as it allows him to do what he does best. Counter-striking. His counter-striking is precise and powerful and as soon as his opponents make a mistake it may be lights out.
As if all of those skills weren't enough, Machida also employs some of the deadliest kicks in the business. The way Machida throws his kicks generates a solid amount of power and speed. Many opponents don't even see them coming.
A combo he used against Tito Ortiz in their fight was simply amazing to watch. He went for an outside leg kick with his right leg, pivoted and just as fast snapped off a head kick with his left leg.
His kicks are also unique and unpredictable. Remember his jumping front kick to knockout Randy Couture?
Lyoto Machida has long been a complicated fighter to train for. He's hard to hit, fast and powerful. Machida has brought karate back to prominence and people are finally taking note.
Machida is an honourable fighter who is always committed to getting better. The man behind the elusive karate based style truly embodies the spirit of martial arts.
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