Sports by the Numbers MMA
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52 Date (5/2) of 2003 when Brazilian light heavyweight Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida made his debut in Tokyo, Japan and scored a decision victory over Kengo Watanabe.

 

The victory was a sign of things to come. In his next two fights he TKO'd a couple of much more heralded opponents in Stephan Bonner and Rich Franklin. He followed the TKO's with a submission of Michael McDonald to climb to 4-0 as of March 2004. Only ten months into his career and Machida was beginning to make waves.

 

"The Dragon" wasn't close to being done either. Since the submission he's reeled off eight more wins in a row and four in the UFC. Including a decision over the great, albeit smaller, B.J. Penn and a domination over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, a man who was coming off back to back KO's of Mauricio Rua and Ricardo Arona.

 

Machida began his career on this day five years ago and has yet to taste defeat. A tough test looms on the horizon though as he will tangle with Tito Ortiz at UFC 84 in three weeks. Ortiz is maybe not as tough as he was a few years ago, but still a dangerous man. He offers Machida, who's kind of flown under the radar with casual fans a chance to jump into the spotlight.

To read more stories and numbers like this and to see Machida with a very scary "celebration face" check out my blog Sports by the Numbers MMA.

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