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Lyoto Machida on Living With Daniel Bryan and Shinsuke Nakamura, Says He Admires Nakamura, Discusses Getting Slapped by Antonio Inoki

June 10, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Lyoto Machida - UFC Fight Night 119 - UFC Fight Night 125

Fightful recently interviewed former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who talked about his connections to pro wrestling, and the time he once received the famous binta (a slap in the face) from Japanese wrestling legend Antonio Inoki. He also talked about living with current WWE Superstars Daniel Bryan and Shinsuke Nakamura way back in 2003. You can check out some highlights below.

Lyoto Machida on living with Daniel Bryan and Shinsuke Nakamura in 2003 in Japan: “Yeah, it was in 2003 in Japan in Genome Pro Wrestling Academy in Tokyo. So, it was a very good moment for me in terms of learning. So, I learned so many things, not only about fighting, but also life. I was by myself. I wasn’t married that moment. I didn’t have any kids, and I stayed with those people for almost six months. And I was there, lived there, eat there, trained with them sometimes. It was a very good moment, and I have good memory for me because I’m so grateful to have a chance to pass through the Academy, and I made so many friendships.”

Machida on if he ever had interest in pro wrestling: “I didn’t want to do pro wrestling. I trained there back in the day, but it’s not something I really appreciated, like I respect [it], I like to watch sometimes, but I don’t like to do it.”

Machida on talk of him having a competitive rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura: “Do you know what happened? In that moment, Nakamura, he just got into the Genome pro wrestling [AN: I believe he’s referring to Inoki Genome Federation or IGF]. And Inoki-san, who was the owner of the company, he kind of wants to promote both of us. And I [am] more in MMA, and Shinsuke Nakamura more in pro wrestling. There is a kind of competition between us, but nothing happened, do you know what I mean? It’s like, we just had a respect between each other. And sometimes we trained together, but nothing more than this. I admire Shinsuke Nakamura, the brilliant career that he has, and that’s it.”

Machida on getting slapped by Inoki: “Every Japanese guy, they want to be slapped by Antonio Inoki because there’s a story that he slapped the face of a little boy and the boy had great success in his career. Now everyone wants to be slapped by Inoki because they want to be successful. I wasn’t expecting in that moment. He was slapping a lot of guys in front of me – like Kazuyuki Fujita. I didn’t expect it then, I was just there to bow to him! Suddenly he slapped my face three times. Maybe because of that, I had success in my career.”

Machida on not getting any offers for pro wrestling: “Not at all. I left Japan and put all my focus in MMA. I never had any offers to fight in pro wrestling after that.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Fightful, with a h/t to 411mania.com and Fightful for the transcription.