For the briefest of moments, karate ruled the Octagon. This is the truth.
His name was Lyoto Machida, and though he had a black belt in jiu-jitsu, he was a karate man through and through, and his stance and timing were unlike anything the other UFC fighters had ever had to deal with. Machida went all the way to the top, earning himself the light-heavyweight belt at one point, and holding fast to his position as one of the UFC’s elite for a years.
Those days are probably behind him now, what with time and evolution and all that taking their toll. Now we’ve got dudes like Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero on the cusp of earning title shots. Whittaker and Romero are the co-main event for UFC 213 on Saturday night, but before that bout comes, here’s a sample of Romero’s handiwork: his match-up against Machida, when karate was no longer ruling the Octagon.