“Lyoto says that, of course, it’s part of his job to entertain. It’s a sport, but it’s also entertainment. He’s getting paid to entertain his fans. But he believes the criticism inspires his training because he can hear what people are saying and use that in training to adapt and get better in any way he can…As he goes through training, his mind is a big part of it…He thinks the fight begins before he steps into the ring, and that his mind can be used as a weapon. He sees his body as a sword, as a samurai would…The martial art is not what builds the athlete. The athlete builds his own art. It’s a matter of how you train.”
—Lyoto Machida, through a translator with MMA Fanhouse, responding to criticism that his effective fighting style isn’t entertaining for the fans.
Lyoto appears to be focused on both, and judging from his past performances against Tito Ortiz and Thiago Silva, he seems to have taken the criticism to heart. Even if you’re not a fan of his style, can you honestly say either one of those fights weren’t entertaining? I suppose we’ll have to see how the Rashad fight goes, but maybe it’s about time we stop labeling Machida as a boring fighter.