Few MMA fighters can boast better forward kick knockouts than Lyoto Machida.
Michael Chandler may be an exception, according to The Dragon.
Machida was impressed with what he saw in Chandler’s fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, scoring the former Bellator champion’s frontal stoppage kick 10 out of 10.
“I’m the kind of guy who sees martial arts on a global scale,” Machida told MMA Fighting. “Oh, that mae geri, this forward punch had no technique, it was from the bottom up.” Did it work? And so it was. If it worked, that’s good.
“We tend to decrease [others]. It’s not easy to get hit like that. [People criticize,] “If his legs were like that, or his knee was a little bent.” I don’t care. What matters to me is how effective it was. [If] I go hunting and I have the best weapons, but I was not effective, what’s the point? [If] my weapons are not that good, but I went there and killed an animal? It means that I was effective, that I did it well.”
Chandler stopped Ferguson 17 seconds into the second round of their lightweight bout earlier this month in Phoenix. The kick was similar to the one the Dragon used when stopping Vitor Belfort in 2018. Machida also finished off Randy Couture with a crane kick in 2011.
Michael Chandler just sent Tony Ferguson to the Shadowlands. pic.twitter.com/8r3b9JMPqC
— Barstool (@barstoolsports) May 8, 2022
A former UFC light heavyweight who recently ended his contract with Bellator in a loss to Fabian Edwards, Machida admits he hasn’t been as open about technique in the past.
“I used to look at things that way, but now I don’t,” Machida said. “Martial arts, as the name suggests, is an art. And just like in art, anything can come out of it. You look at a painting by Leonardo da Vinci and sometimes you don’t see the beauty, but someone more sensitive than you might be able to see something there. “It’s so beautiful, look what this man thought.”
“The same with such a blow. I look at martial arts holistically, you know? Did it work well? So that’s 10.”