Despite some calls for his retirement due to a string of bad losses, Lyoto Machida feels he still has a lot more fights left in him.
It is safe to say that the Lyoto Machida of today is a far cry from “The Dragon” that dominated the UFC’s light heavyweight division in the late 2000’s. He is currently 2-3 in his last five fights, where he went on a three-fight skid from 2015 until October of last year.
This string of losses, along with some lackluster performances as of late, have made fans call for his retirement. But as for Machida himself, there is still a lot left in his tank.
“They want to retire me, but I don’t want to be retired,” Machida said during the UFC 224 pre-fight presser in Rio de Janeiro (transcript via MMAjunkie). “I have more fights. I have more years. I believe that. Because the verb that I like to say here, it’s not about ‘can,’ but about ‘want.’ If you want something, you can get it. That’s what I put in my mind.”
At 39 years of age, Machida is still looking to face elite competition, as he looks to use his losing streak as motivation to get back on track.
“It’s different because I feel more confident now. I feel like I can give my best,” Machida said. “Because, when you have no options – only victory – you feel a lot of pressure over your shoulders. But once you release everything, it’s showtime. It’s time to show everything I have.”
Machida (23-8, with 11 wins by stoppage), last saw action in February in Belem, Brazil, where he won via a close split decision verdict against Eryk Anders.