On Saturday night, Chinzo Machida will look to put the Machida name back at the forefront of mixed martial arts (MMA) when he takes on hot prospect James Gallagher at Bellator 180 in Madison Square Garden
At 40-years-old, Machida walks into the bout double the age of his opponent and with a sizeable experience advantage. Speaking earlier today at the Bellator 180 media day, Machida explained why he wouldn’t be underestimating Gallagher on Saturday night.
“I feel very well and I trained very hard for this fight,” Machida said, speaking exclusively to MMAUNo.com. “I’m ready for Saturday. James is a young guy and he’s very good, especially in jiu-jitsu and on the ground. He’s a specialist with the chokes, the rear [naked] choke. He’s pretty good, he knows how to stand and fight as well. It will be a fantastic fight for sure.”
When asked what goals he’d set himself for his Bellator run, Machida said that he’d continue to take everything in his stride, but that with a few more wins he wouldn’t be surprised if he was getting close to a title shot.
“For the first fight I did in Bellator, the first thing I wanted to do was prove Machida Karate is still good in a real fight, especially MMA,” Machida said. “Now I have two victories so Bellator is now more interested in my style and more interested in myself and put me on a big show. So in that sense, for Bellator, you never know. Maybe sometime in the future, soon, I could be getting a title shot.
Chinzo has been an ever present figure in the corner of his brother Lyoto throughout his MMA career, but this weekend, the tables are turned. Chinzo today described why it’s so important to him to have the support of his brother.
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) June 21, 2017
“Yes, my brother is going to be in my corner—he’s coming here on Thursday or Friday,” Machida. “This feels very good because we’ve been training our whole lives together. Before, I was in his corner. Now, he’s going to be in my corner. So it’s going to be very interesting to do that because he knows my game and the karate. It’s the same style that our father taught [both] of us. If he’s in my corner I feel more confident to do my job.”
With his brother beside him, Machida is confident of getting the win and he see’s it happening inside the distance.
“I think mostly it’s going to be a standup fight,” Machida said. “I’m looking forward to keeping the fight standing. The fight is going to finish before the time is up.”