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Lyoto Machida motivated by status as an underdog against Jon Jones

Former UFC light heavyweight title-holder Lyoto Machida is used to being the favorite whenever he steps into the ring. A 17-2 competitor, the Brazilian has beaten a number of apt adversaries and has a unique style often making him nearly impossible to hit cleanly. However, when it comes to his upcoming fight against current champion Jon Jones there’s no doubt the odds will be against “The Dragon” pulling out a win.

While the situation may be new to Machida it’s certainly not one affecting him in a negative way. In fact, he actually plans to use it to his advantage.

“The fight will be decided in the Octagon,” Machida explained in an interview with Sherdog. “Let him be the favorite. He’ll enter with the label of being a prodigy, but I’ll be stronger because of that. Since I’m the underdog, I will enter the fight even more motivated to show that I deserve to be here and to show why they offered me the chance.”

That isn’t to say Machida is looking past the challenges “Bones” is sure to offer. In fact, he’s still unsure of exactly what it will take to beat the dynamic 205-pound champion even though he’s confident in his ability to do so.

“It’s hard to say what the perfect style is to stop Jones,” said Machida on the subject. “I have a lot of trust in my skills against any fighter. I won’t change what people have seen, and I’d rather show them in the Octagon instead of talking about it beforehand. Jones wasn’t my problem until the UFC booked the fight. I’ll spend a lot of time studying him and find the best way to stop him. I know he’s versatile, but I have my own talents and know what it takes to win.”

Machida may also have a secret weapon in his corner to assist in the task at hand – Anderson Silva. The 33-year old revealed he had already reached out to the pound-for-pound great in hopes “The Spider” might be able to fit it into his schedule though he’s not relying on Silva’s assistance.

“I can’t count on that because he has so many obligations, and I respect that. He’s the biggest name in MMA. I would love to have him beside me for this camp and he will be welcomed if he joins us, but I don’t want to count on him and not have it happen.”

Jones and Machida will meet on December 10 in Toronto as the main event of UFC 140. Other match-ups on the card include Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Canadians Mark Bocek, Mark Hominick, and Rory MacDonald are also booked for action at the show.


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