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Chinzo Machida fights to promote Machida Karate, but don’t sleep on him as a title contender

Bellator 170 Photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Rorion Gracie created the UFC to show the world how efficient jiu-jitsu was against other martial arts. Twenty four years later, a fighter brings the same mentality to his fights.

Lyoto Machida shocked the world with his unorthodox striking en route to winning the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2009. His older brother Chinzo Machida still brings his family’s art as the most important as he puts the Bellator gloves on to compete one more time.

"My biggest goal is to promote Machida Karate,” the 40-year-old featherweight told MMA Fighting. "That’s why I’m fighting. My goal is to promote the way my brother and I train, the efficiency of our art. My brother Lyoto already proved its efficiency, and now I’m showing it as well.”

After winning back-to-back fights under the Bellator banner by knockout, Machida returns to the cage on June 24, facing James Gallagher at Madison Square Garden.

And even though his focus is to show the world how good his martial art is, Machida doesn’t rule out aiming the piece of metal every other fighter target.

"I’m winning and having more opportunities,” he said. "I’m winning, and winning well. ‘I liked your fight, so here’s another one for you.’ I’m accepting the challenges, preparing the best way I can, and I’m moving (up the ranking). We’ll see what’s the next step after this fight. Who knows if in the future I’m fighting among the top 5. One step at a time.

"Sleep on me, and all of a sudden I’m there."

Machida went 2-0 under the RFA banner after years away from the sport, and quickly added a pair of knockouts in Bellator as well. Matched up against a 6-0 Irish prospect, Machida expects the toughest challenge of his career.

"I think he is because of his record, he has a lot of wins,” Machida said of Gallagher. "He won his six fights, so he really is the most dangerous opponent I’ve ever faced. It’s gonna be a big challenge."

"I’m ready for a war,” he continued. "I prepared myself for a war. But if I get a quick win, a knockout, that’s even better. But I prepared myself for the toughest situations possible.”

Machida already had years of experience in martial arts when Gallagher first started training karate, but the best weapon the Irishmen brings to the cage is his submission game. The Brazilian veteran won’t try to predict his opponent’s strategy, and guarantees he’s ready to dance every single music at Bellator 180.

"I’ll really find out when the fight starts,” Machida said. "I don’t wanna go in there with a specific idea of what he might do. It’s natural for me. Whatever he does, the music he plays, I’ll respond. I’ll be in the most comfortable situation if he comes to stand and trade, but if he wants to grapple with me, I’ll be comfortable as well. I have my strategy for this game."

Gallagher made noise early in his career, calling out several fighters in the Bellator roster — and being called out as well. A teammate of UFC superstar Conor McGregor, he wastes no time using words to promote himself.

Machida, who has a completely different approach the game, doesn’t blame him for doing it.

"I think it’s up to every person to promote the fight the way he wants,” said Machida, who wasn’t one of the targets in Gallagher’s trash talk. "If he talked (about me), I wouldn’t mind. I act one way, I respect my opponents. If he decides to talk, I respect his opinion. We’ll see what happens inside the cage. That’s where I respond. Whatever is said, it’s settled in there.

"I have nothing against it,” he adds. "I come from a martial art background, the karate philosophy, so I act based on those principles. But I’m not against those who act in a different way. You promote the fight your way. If you talk more you bring more pressure towards yourself. I believe that those who talk more demand more from themselves."

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