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Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida was born on May 30th, 1978 in Salvador, Brazil. Born to a Japanese-Brazilian Shotokan karate master Yoshizo Machida, Lyoto began his formal training at the age of three. He had branched out to develop his skills in sumo-wrestling and Brazilian jiu jitsu by the age of 15. After winning the 2001 Pan American Karate tournament and taking second place in the 2000 Brazilian Sumo Championships, Machida was ready to being his professional fighting career.

Through college Machida continued his training, traveling to Thailand to study Muay Thai and Tokyo to improve his wrestling skills. After being taken in by noted wrestler Antonia Inoki, Machida began taking part in and winning many fight promotions including the Ultimate Crush, a wrestling event sponsored by New Japan Pro Wrestling and Inoki-Bom-ba-ye 2003, a tournament that saw him defeat UFC great rich Franklin to take first place.

With upstart organization K-1 promising fame and fortune, Machida signed a contract and began fighting immediately. He opened his time with K-1 with lauded wins versus two of the highest ranking kickboxers in the world, Mike McDonald and Sam Greco. After a win at the HEROES 1 event over UFC welterweight B.J. Penn, Machida moved on to open karate tournaments. After winning the Brazilian Championships and taking second place in the South American Championship, the rising star signed a new contract, this time with the newly financed World Fighting Alliance.

Competing in the United States for the first time with the WFA, Machida debuted with a unanimous decision win over Vernon White on July 22nd, 2006. The WFA soon collapsed for the second time in its history and the Ultimate Fighting Championship quickly took over Machida’s contract.

Lyoto was quickly scheduled to take on noted fighter Sam Hoger at UFC 67. Machida kept the upper hand during the entire three round bout, winning by unanimous decision. A second unanimous decision win over David Heath at UFC 70 proved that Machida had what it took to compete with the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world.

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