Lyoto Machida rates Michael Chandler’s front-kick knockout of Tony Ferguson a ‘10’

Not many MMA fighters can claim to have better front kick knockouts than Lyoto Machida.

Michael Chandler might be an exception, according to “The Dragon.

Machida was impressed with what he saw from Chandler against Tony Ferguson at UFC 274, grading the former Bellator champ’s fight-stopping front kick a 10 out of 10.

“I’m the type of guy that sees the martial arts in a global way,” Machida told MMA Fighting. “‘Oh, this mae geri, this front kick had no technique, he kicked from down up.’ Did it work? It did. If it worked, it’s good.

“We tend to diminish [others]. It’s not easy to land a kick like that. [People criticize,] ‘If his feet was like that, or his knee was a bit bent.’ I don’t care. What matters to me is how effective it was. [If] I’m going out to hunt and I have the best weapon, but I wasn’t effective, what’s the point? [If] my weapon isn’t that good, but I went there and killed the animal? That means I was effective, that I did it well.”

Chandler stopped Ferguson 17 seconds into the second round of their lightweight showdown earlier this month in Phoenix. The kick was similar to that used by “The Dragon” in stopping Vitor Belfort in 2018. Machida also finished Randy Couture with a crane kick in 2011.

A former UFC light heavyweight who recently completed his Bellator contract with a loss to Fabian Edwards, Machida admits he wasn’t so open-minded about techniques in the past.

“I’ve looked at things that way in the past, but now I don’t,” Machida said. “Martial arts, like the name says, is art. And like art, anything can come from it. You look at a painting from Leonardo da Vinci and sometimes you don’t see beauty, but someone with more sensibility than you will be able to see something there. ‘This is so beautiful, look at what this person thought.’

“It’s the same thing with a kick like this. I look at martial art in a holistic way, you know? Did it work well? So it’s a 10.”