(Video courtesy Sherdog)
I always had a sneaking suspicion that Lyoto Machida‘s dad, Yoshizo was a cross between Mr. Myagi from the Karate Kid and Dwight Hansen from This Boy’s Life. Judging by the latest interview he did with Sherdog’s Marcelo Alonso, I’m beginning to think I was right.
In the video, Yoshizo makes a few eyebrow raising comments about things like his son’s mental and spiritual fortitude, but the most surprising statement that escapes his lips is that he felt that Lyoto should have abandoned his MMA career after his UFC 113 knockout loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
"As a parent, I think he just realized his dream, that was to be the world champion and it would be good for him to stop. On the other hand, after being defeated it became more challenging and therefore he wants to prove even more. There is a spiritual strengthening of the man. I think technique of the top fighters is close. Today what makes the difference is the spirit. Mostly, for those who were defeated as he was it is recovering quickly, and that is what I worry about most. My biggest concern is that injuries and losses occur, but you can recover from them. But in the spiritual matter, it may take up to five or 10 years. This is what can bring bad things and what really worries me."
Seriously? It was one loss. He thinks he should quit because of one loss? I’m guessing Yoshizo is a bit of a dictator in the Machida house. Lyoto was the golden child until he lost and ever since then he likely doesn’t even drink his piss right in his dad’s eyes. Tough dad to please. Just ask Lyoto’s brothers. I’m sure they’ve gotten used to the chill of living in his shadow.
When asked what he thought led to Lyoto’s loss to Rua, Yoshizo said he feels his son wasn’t prepared mentally for the pressure that came with holding the belt.
"It just happened. Fighting is like that: sometimes you win and other times you lose. I think it took a long time to lose. It’s difficult to make a career of winning all the time. In that last fight, he trained very hard in all areas. He trained standing, takedowns, ground, and gave his maximum in training but I think the pressure got to his head. The whole state of Para, his friends…it was hard for him to deal with such pressure. But it happened. Indeed, the punch hit him. He ended up falling and there was no way. I think it was [a result of] everything together. He was tired and suffered more pressure. It happens. If the first punch he threw — a cross — had hit Shogun, history could have been different. These things happen. Fighting is like this. I think you’re always subject to defeat. I think he took a long time to lose if we consider the high level of his opponents."
He went on to say that he wasn’t upset watching his son laying unconscious on the canvas after the fight as he just isn’t one to show emotion.
"As I said before, after his victory over Rashad when he won the belt, I’m not easily thrilled. I don’t become very sad or very happy. I already have almost 50 years of fighting. I’ve gotten used to participating in championships, things related to karate and even in my own life, which will not let me lose control. He has to recover for himself and has to earn for himself, too. Sometimes you lose a fight, but it is your spirit that will make you get up again. This the kind of thing that I admire and I like about martial arts."
What kind of parent isn’t happy when his kid wins or upset when his child loses an important fight? More and more this guy makes Red Forman seem like Cliff Huxtable.