After years of inactivity, RFA 11’s Chinzo Machida returns for ‘new debut’

It has been nearly three years since Chinzo Machida last entered a professional MMA fight. Now that he’s back and his priorities are in order, the lesser-known Machida brother is ready to give the sport his all.

“I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to come back to fighting,” Machida told MMAjunkie through an interpreter. “Now I have the right opportunity to come back and fight.”

Machida’s (1-2) last professional MMA fight, a loss, came all the way back in December 2010. Prior to that, he competed in April 2006, where he suffered yet another defeat. His lone professional win took place in May 2005.

The reasoning for Machida’s extended hiatus from the sport was twofold. Firstly, he wanted to help his brother, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, train for his budding career at the highest level of the sport.

Secondly, Machida suffered a badly broken hand in the fallout from his 2010 loss and it took over one year to heal properly.

With the injuries woes behind him and “The Dragon” doing more than well for himself in the UFC, Machida felt the time was right to turn the focus back on himself. He views his Friday night bout at RFA 11 as a fresh start.

“I feel like this is a new debut,” Machida said.

For those who have never seen him compete, Machida, like his brother, comes from a karate background, meaning his techniques are somewhat unorthodox for MMA. While he has yet to reach black belt status on the ground like his brother, Machida is capable on the mat, although he would prefer to keep the fight in his area of expertise.

“I’m a guy who likes to keep the fight standing, and I look to finish the fight,” Machida said. “I’m aggressive, and I look to finish the fight. I like to strike.”

Machida will be looking to score the knockout blow when he meets Brian Wood (4-3) at RFA 11 from the 1stBank Center in Denver, Colorado. The event airs on AXS TV.

Outsiders will look at the card, see Machida’s last name and have a great deal of expectations for his return to competition. While that pressure would cause some other athletes to crumble, Machida doesn’t feel any obligation to live up to his younger brother’s accomplishments and is ready to make his own mark in the sport.

“I don’t feel any added pressure,” Machida said. “Lyoto has his career and I have my career. I’ve been a very successful competitor in world championship of karate. I have my own career that I’m focused on so I don’t feel any pressure with Lyoto being my brother.”
“My long term goal if I have the opportunity would be to fight in the UFC.”