After signing with Bellator MMA in 2014, ‘pretty young’ 39-year-old Chinzo Machida isn’t using his age as an excuse ahead of his debut at Bellator 160.
The Honda Center in Anaheim, California will host Bellator 160 on August, 26, with Machida (3-2) headlining the preliminary portion of the card against Mario Navarro (4-4).
Chinzo – the older brother of former world champion Lyoto Machida – has been waiting just under two years to make his debut, after signing in December, 2014. Following surgery on his shoulder, as well as his tendon, the debuting Featherweight feels training at the fabled Kings MMA has prepared him for his Bellator journey.
Machida opened: “I feel good, actually because I had surgery at the end of 2014 on my shoulder and I had to wait maybe one year to completely recover from my shoulder surgery but now, I feel very good. I train hard, almost more than one year before, so I’m ready for this fight, my physical condition is good too. I have a good team with me, my brother Lyoto [Machida], the “Master” Rafael Cordeiro, Renzo Gracie, so I am ready for this fight.
“I already started my training almost one year after my shoulder was ready, I followed the training with Lyoto, I trained with Rafael dos Anjos, but I started my camp two months ago for this fight. Now I feel good and strong, I have endurance and I feel confident for this fight.”
Despite admitting he walks around at 166lbs, Machida easily made the Featherweight cut, weighing in at 145.2lbs at yesterday’s official weigh-ins. A week out from the event Machida weighed around 157lbs.
Evidently, much like his younger brother, Chinzo has grown up as a martial artist. He started training karate at age four under his father Yoshizo and it has been a huge part of his life ever since. The Machida sibling attributed his father’s teachings to his continued success, not only in martial arts, but in life, explaining the importance of the sport’s philosophy.
“The technique is very important because you keep the distance and you’re looking for the good time to apply the techniques,” said Machida. “But also, a lot of it prepares our mental strength and I think this is the most important thing because if you have good mental strength, it’s going to be 50% of the fight.
“My father he is very important to us, me and my brother, because at a very young age we watched my father train and teaching karate and his philosophy to his students and to us as well. The karate, the martial arts, it’s very important to bring not just the fight, not just the techniques, much more than this you have to bring the philosophy to your life.
“If you can bring this to your life, it’s going to work, but if you just do that for fight, maybe it’s a short career because you cannot fight for your whole life. Maybe when you’re 40-years-old you’ll stop fighting but your life is going to be longer. So it’s very important to bring the background of martial arts and philosophy for your whole life. It’s the most important thing I learnt from my dad.”
As his Bellator debut dawns, there has been critics who have shunned Machida’s chances as a fighter due to his age. At 39, Machida may face an uphill battle against some of the younger fighters in the division like champion Daniel Strauss, but he is taking things ‘one step at a time’.
With the success of fighters older than Chinzo, such as Middleweight contender Dan Henderson, Machida feels he can continue to have a fulfilling career without using his age as a limitation.
“I train against [fighters] younger than me and I’m very good with them. I don’t feel old now, I feel good and healthy, strong an example, Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, these guys much older than me and they’re still fighting, 43, 45 and against the high level fighters. If you compare these guys with my age, I’m pretty young, I’m still 39. Dan Henderson is 46 and he’s going to be competing for the title.
“There are a lot of good fighters in Bellator but I’m ready for this. I’m professional as well, I train hard, but I think you have to do one step at a time. I’m not worried about the other opponents because my focus now is my next challenge. One at a time.“