Lyoto Machida makes me proud to be a fan and observer of this sport. He's respectful, appreciative and the ignition for the most talked-about platform shift in fighting sports since Royce Gracie began choking out people with his thighs.
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"My focus is on my class, but in the future I would like to do a couple of [heavyweight] fights, like Brock Lesnar," Machida said. "I respect Brock Lesnar as a fighter, but I know I can fight with him. Brock Lesnar is a big challenge for me because he's a big guy, very strong, very fast. For me, I like the challenge."
Painfully ambitious guy. Lesnar-Machida, if it ever happens, could represent the largest-scale style-versus-style match in the sport's history. There's probably no way Lesnar could tag Machida standing, but I would have a hard time imagining Machida could get out from underneath Lesnar. That's not a character flaw: He couldn't out-grapple a Kodiak bear, either, but I don't hold it against him.
Said before but maybe worth repeating: Machida is a new incarnation of Rickson Gracie, a near-mythical fighter whose value comes from a seemingly flawless execution of a house style. Thankfully for fans, Machida is actually interested in fighting.