Interview: Shawn Machado

“As long as my son looks up at me, I don’t care who looks down on me.”

Shawn Machado

Written By: Lance Edwards

Shawn Machado, is a very solidly built 170lber. After losing as an amateur to Kenny Burke, he came back to win his first pro debut fight in WGC against Rudolfo Resendez. He is fighting again this Saturday against Tony Orozco, the head coach at Silverback. There’s been a lot of talk about this fight, much of it coming from Tony, so we wanted to find out what Shawn had to say. I caught up with Shawn and sat down with him to find out his thoughts on the upcoming fight. How’s the preparation going?

Shawn: Pretty good, everything is in order. I started my weight cut eight weeks out, and I’m right where I should be. I walk around at over two hundred pounds, so it’s quite a big cut. I have a background in bodybuilding, so I have a lot of experience cutting weight, so it’s not hard for me. So you were a competitive bodybuilder, how did you do?

Shawn: I did pretty well actually. I competed at a national level as an amateur and the lowest I ever placed in a competition was fourth. I competed for over ten years, so I did it for a long time. People don’t realize how much discipline bodybuilding takes, did that discipline help you in MMA.

Shawn: Undoubtedly.  People think you just lift weights but it’s more complicated than that. There’s a lot that goes into in terms of planning, such as diet and routine, it’s a lot of work. So how did you get into MMA?

Shawn: Well I’m just an average person. I watched it while sitting on the couch, and thought, I want to do that. I started late, I was thirty-two. I went to a few places, what I found was that as I was a bodybuilder people just wanted to beat up on me, and I didn’t learn that much. I stopped for a while, and when Sam came to town, I went down there. Sam didn’t care that I had been a bodybuilder,  he didn’t hold it against me. He taught me, and I’ve really enjoyed the training; what was different with Sam is that he didn’t hold anything back and took me for who I am. After a few months I entered a grappling contest and came in first, and have been carrying on ever since. Now I remember in your post fight interview in WGC that you said your strongest area is grappling.

Shawn: Yes, that’s right. That was funny at that fight, I had lost my mouthpiece and had to go out and buy an unfitted piece just before the fight. I spent the whole fight having to bite down, and I couldn’t breath. By the second round I was gassed because I’d been holding my breath biting down, I started freaking out in the ring, it was one of the worst moments I’ve had. In the third round I was just wanting the fight to be over. You won’t be losing it again then?

Shawn: No that’s definitely not going to happen. Do you train gi as well as no-gi?

Shawn: Yes I do. After this fight I will be doing more gi training, and concentrate on that. Luckily it doesn’t hamper me training no gi when I train in a gi. I learn pretty quick. One of my aims is to open my own school, and to do that I really need to be good in the gi. How often do you train?

Shawn: I’m lucky.  I have my own business so I can train every afternoon and evening. I’m a gym rat and I really enjoy training. I get to teach at Hoger too, and I’m an Assistant Coach there, so I get good experience from that. Tony has said he wanted to fight you as you’re close in age.

Shawn: Well I don’t read too much, so I don’t really know too much about what people say, but yes we are close in age. Do you have a prediction for the  fight?

Shawn: I don’t do predictions.  I know Tony will come at me pretty hard, and I’ll be there in the cage ready for him. I think it will actually come down to a battle of cardio. I’m lucky at my age to be able to compete, and I enjoy doing it, and that is what matters to me. You mentioned your age, how long will you fight?

Shawn: I’ll continue to fight as long as my body will let me. You know, it’s funny I’ve picked up some dumb injuries before, and thought, maybe this isn’t for me. Coach Sam says that  if you go into a fight 100% you didn’t train hard enough, and it’s part of the training, so I think he’s right. As well as bodybuilding you practiced other sports, how did they compare to MMA?

Shawn: I trained football, and baseball and actually had very few injuries. I’ve been around the best athletes, and played pro ball and in college. I’ve been around top guys who are still playing. It’s different though, anyone can do bear crawls or run sprints, but it’s a different workout. The breathing is different.  MMA is the only sport which to get really good at it, and be really in condition for it, you have to focus your training on MMA. You cant just run six miles a day and perform well, you cant just do 100’s of laps of swimming, which you can do to maintain enough fitness for other sports. That doesn’t help you, you have to go in there, put yourself in difficult positions, give up your back and fight your way out of it. You have to let yourself be held down and fight out of difficult positions. In MMA you have to train MMA or you lose. What else is important to you? Do you have hobbies?

Shawn: What’s most important to me are my two kids. I have an eleven year old son, he loves that I do this. As long as he continues to love it, I’ll continue to do it. As long as my son looks up at me, I don’t care who looks down on me.

I hope that the fight goes well. I know we’re fighting and we’ll get bruises, but I hope we both come out of it safe. I’m not in there to do serious damage, we’re competing, so what matters is we’re both ok. Anyone you’d like to thank?

Shawn: I’d like to thank my friend Rob, he’s been there with me all the way. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in this shape now. He’s taken time in his lunch to train with me. I also have Sam to thank. There are other people too, everyone who has helped me at the school, but most of all those two have helped me Sam and Rob. Other schools have offered to train me but I’m happy with where I’m at. Best of luck for Saturday.