Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort are set to clash this coming May at UFC 224.
In preparation for the upcoming encounter, a training Machida has enlisted coach Vinicio Anthony, who has previously worked with Belfort.
”He has already trained Belfort, but I think that every fight is unique,” Machida said to MMA Fighting. “Every training process is a process. That gives me an advantage in a technical aspect, of course, but a fight is way more than the technical part. A fight involves the emotion, the strategy of combat. There are many factors connected to a fight. The fact that he has known Vitor in the past is only one of them.”
Anthony is a karate specialist and one of Machida’s biggest strong suits inside of the Octagon is his striking game.
Even though they are set to meet in under two months, one thing Machida has for Belfort is a lot of respect.
”I have a good relationship with him, we’ve trained together in the past, but we’re professionals and want to do our best for the fans,” Machida said. “This is a fight that could have happened in the past, but hasn’t. I have a lot of respect not only for the fighter, but the man Vitor Belfort. I think he has done a lot for the sport, and we all have to respect him. I mean, what’s in the past is in the past. Moments like those are part of any athlete’s career.”
UFC 224 takes place on Saturday, May 12 from the Jeunesse Arena in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.