Don’t Expect Lyoto Machida to Retire Anytime Soon

Lyoto Machida

Back in February, Lyoto Machida got back in the winners column after a three-fight losing streak. The 39-year old veteran isn’t close to slowing down, as he is booked to fight another legend in the sport, Vitor Belfort at UFC 224. Not that the pressure is off, he’s looking forward to leaving it all out in the Octagon in Rio and holding nothing back.

“They want to retire me, but I don’t want to be retired. 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. It’s different because I feel more confident now. I feel like I can give my best. 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.”

“[I wanted to fight Vitor Belfort] because it’s a classic. This fight [at UFC 224] could have happened in the past, back in the days. But unfortunately – or fortunately – it’s only happening now. I think it’s a great opportunity for both of us. I don’t believe this fight is going to be a boring fight. I believe that it’s going to be a very exciting fight. And if he doesn’t come, I’ll go.”— Lyoto Machida speaking at the press conference for UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro.

It’s pretty crazy that Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort haven’t fought each other yet in their combined 37-years of fighting MMA. Now we’ll finally get to see them go at it at UFC 224. While Machida isn’t thinking about retirement, hell need to beat Belfort in order for people not to dismiss his comeback. Either way, it will be a pleasure to see the two legends finally square off.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/21/2018.