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14th Feb 2016

PIC: Rafael dos Anjos enlists the help of a former UFC champ to mimic Conor McGregor

The Karate Kid

Darragh Murphy

If you had to find someone nicer and flowier than Conor McGregor, it’d be former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

He may be in the autumn of his career but at the peak of his powers, ‘The Dragon’ was one of the most feared strikers in all of mixed martial arts.

Machida, previously with Blackhouse, has moved to Kings MMA and Rafael dos Anjos is utilising him to replicate the movement of McGregor in the octagon.

A natural southpaw, Machida was one of the first fighters to successfully translate his karate skills to MMA and claimed the UFC light heavyweight title in 2009 by brutally knocking out Rashad Evans.

There are more than a few similarities between Machida and ‘The Notorious’, so it’s not difficult to understand why Dos Anjos was so keen on working closely with his fellow Brazilian ahead of his lightweight title defence at UFC 196.

Like McGregor, Machida regularly switches stances during his fights and both men employ a low and wide posture which is a trait of traditional karate stylists.

The kicking techniques of both McGregor and Machida are remarkably similar as, unlike most fighters who utilise a Thai style of kicking by telegraphing and powerfully slamming their feet into opponents, they snap kicks directly from the hip with little or no telegraph.

Jose Aldo brought in Jungle Fight champion Jonas Bilharinho to replicate McGregor last year and that didn’t work out too well for the former UFC featherweight champ but we won’t have long to wait to see if RDA’s preparation is more successful.