On the eve of his main event bout with his friend, former UFC
light-heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida
takes a minute to chat with FOX UFC Insider Gareth A. Davies about
the highly-anticipated main event, the weightcut needed for it, his
friendship with his opponent “The Filipino Wrecking
Machine” Mark Munoz, and Machida’s dinner plans
Moments earlier, the 35 year old stood on a scale that read 185
pounds, which marked Machida’s first real weightcut in the
UFC (most likely career too) and his start as a middleweight.
“I did a great plan and I got this,” says Machida whose
face is a little thinner, but “The Dragon” was always a
lighter light-heavyweight with his weight never venturing too far
from 200 pounds. Once signed to replace Michael Bisping in this
match-up, Machida dieted for 4 weeks to make the weight limit.
As for the much talked about friendship with Munoz, the 19-4
Machida assured that it was different, but manageable.
“It’s very surreal to face my friend Mark Munoz, but
I’m here as a professional,” explains Machida who will
be entering the Octagon for the 16th time on Saturday night, which
will also mark the return of “The Dragon” to Manchester
since his unanimous decision win at UFC 70. “We’re
friends and we have to fight. It doesn’t matter who wins. I
can keep my friendship with him.”
Davies then let us in on the friendly wager Munoz and Machida
have on the bout: dinner. The headliners trained regularly together
at Black House MMA as recently as two days before the contract for
the fight was offered. Besides elevating themselves in the
middleweight rankings, what’s at stake in this bout is the
loser chooses where to eat and the winner pays.
To which a smiling Machida responds, “I’ll do
everything to pay for this dinner.”