Lyoto Machida accepted Mark Munoz fight so he wouldn't disappoint UFC

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Lyoto Machida was set to face Tim Kennedy in his middleweight debut at UFC Fight For The Troops 3, but he decided to accept the UFC’s offer and replace Michael Bisping against Mark Muñoz at UFC Fight Night 30 on Oct. 26.

Kennedy is 1-0 in the UFC with a unanimous decision victory over Roger Gracie, while Munoz looks for his ninth win inside the Octagon. A better opportunity to climb the rankings is one of the reasons why Machida decided to change opponents.

"I thought for a while about it (when UFC offered the change), but I didn’t want to disappoint and frustrate the UFC," Machida told "The date wasn’t that bad. I was already training hard for my fight, so I decided to take it. They were both main events, but this is a better one because Mark Munoz is better ranked and it’s not a (Fight For The Troops) card."

Munoz has one submission and six knockouts on his record, while Kennedy finished eight of his 16 wins by submission. However, Machida sees some similarities in their games.

"They’re not that different," he said. "They both have similar styles, but Tim Kennedy likes to go for the takedown from the body lock and Munoz moves more. But they basically have similar styles."

One advantage against Munoz, which Machida wouldn’t have over Kennedy, is the fact that they used to train together.

"We were training together so that’s a little complicated, but that’s inevitable here in California," he said. "We always look for better training so we ended up training together. It’s complicated, but it’s tough for both of us. I’ve learned some things from his game, but he did too.

"Mark Munoz was always very friendly, gave me tips during trainings," he continued. "We helped each other a lot. But we were training together, it’s not like he was teaching me. You test yourself a lot during sparring."

Following a frustrating and controversial unanimous decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, "The Dragon" wants to leave no doubts in Manchester.

"I always go to win decisively," he said. "I had a (foot) injury and couldn’t show what I wanted in my last fight, but I’ll be different this time."

More from MMA Fighting

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.