Anderson Silva scored a close decision victory over Derek Brunson in February, and gave his friend Lyoto Machida a few tips before their UFC Sao Paulo main event.
“The Dragon” will take on Brunson in a five-round bout in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Oct. 28, and he recently met with his longtime friend “The Spider” and discussed strategies for UFC Fight Night 119.
“I talked to Anderson last week,” Machida told MMA Fighting. “He obviously said a few little things, he said ‘Lyoto, do this and do that,’ showed some paths to go, but I won’t talk too much about it (laughs).”
Silva is currently slated to meet Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai on Nov. 25, and Machida, who is coming back from a controversial 18-month USADA suspension, hopes he and his longtime friend can chat again before Machida faces Brunson.
“We had a pretty informal chat,” Machida said. “We discussed strategies, he gave his opinion, said ‘you'll have big chances if you do this,’ It was a pretty open, informal chat.”
“We didn’t get to train together because he’s busy right now, but I want to talk more, set up a few things,” he added. “Sometimes when you chat about something a few ideas come up, you go this way or that way in training.”
Machida is one of the best counter strikers in mixed martial arts, and he sees Brunson’s aggressive style as a perfect matchup for him. But what if the Jackson-Wink talent decides to drastically change his game for this one?
“It’s hard to predict something,” Machida said, “But all I can say is that I’m studying his fights and being ready for both scenarios. If he’s too aggressive, that’s good for my style. If he’s not, I’m trained for that as well, to be more aggressive on my own.”
The Dragon has been working on various aspects of the game during his time off, training with Fabricio Werdum and Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA and working on his jiu-jitsu with Rener Gracie, Ryron Gracie and Allan Goes. He expects to be “more aggressive” now.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion and middleweight title contender was pulled from the official rankings after the suspension, and he sees himself going back to the top of the division with a good win over Brunson, who stopped Daniel Kelly in his last appearance inside the Octagon.
“It all depends on how I win,” Machida said. “I’m sure that I will quickly come back (to the top of the division). After this fight, I’ll be in the top 5, but first I have to think about this one and work hard to put on my best performance.
“I see this as a great challenge because he is a great fighter. He has defeated some names and has done great fights. He’s aggressive and well ranked. I know what a win means for me, so that’s all I’m thinking right now.”
In the end, all Machida wants is to go back to the winning column with an impressive performance in front of his countrymen in Sao Paulo.
“I don’t want to make any predictions and put it in my mind, but I’m focused on finishing the fight,” said the Brazilian, who has earned stoppages in seven of his 14 UFC victories. “It doesn’t matter if the fight goes to the ground or if we stay standing, I’m sure I will connect a blow or advance to a position and finish this fight.”