Lyoto Machida has looked reborn at middleweight. The former light heavyweight champion went 3-4 in his last seven bouts at 205 pounds before moving down to the 185 pound class and earning two impressive wins - the first, a KO over Mark Munoz, and the second a decision over Gegard Mousasi.
Now, Machida will get a crack at middleweight champ Chris Weidman July 5 in the main event of UFC 175. Does the 35 year old feel he knows how to dethrone the young champion?
"I sure do, but I won’t tell you how now," Machida laughed recntly during an interview with Guilherme Cruz.
"The Dragon" watched Weidman's two bouts with his friend and long-time champion Anderson Silva carefully, and knows that "The All-American" has many strengths. "He has a good wrestling game and hits hard," Machida said, as examples.
That said, Machida has complete faith in himself and his unique style "He has a good cardio but I believe a lot in what I do and in my work. I believe in me," he went on.
Machida was originally called upon to fight Weidman on relatively short notice to replace Vitor Belfort (who pulled out of his title shot against the champ after the testosterone replacement therapy he used was effectively banned in California and Nevada) May 24, but then the New Yorker himself dropped out to get surgeries on both his knees. Machida said he was primed and ready to take on Weidman this month but feels that the additional time in training camp will only strengthen his chances.
"I was training hard and would be ready to fight in May even though I got the offer with two months’ notice, but I will use the extra weeks to work even better and get in there stronger," he said.
Machida also expects Weidman to be at 100 percent, despite the two surgeries an short recovery time.
"As a champion, I know he would never take risks if he really didn’t need it," Machida rationalized.
"I don’t think he will be in disadvantage because of the surgeries. He wouldn’t risk his title, so I believe he will be 100 percent ready."