Lyoto Machida’s return to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 119 last weekend didn’t go according to plan, but despite his KO loss to Derek Brunson the 39-year-old has vowed not to give up in a newly issued statement to his fans.

“I would like to thank all the support I’ve received from my fans!” Machida wrote on Instagram. “I’m home, with my family, recovering from a result that didn’t come, but with a sense of achievement, since anyone could have given up the idea of returning to the battlefield after almost 2 years away from the sports. My biggest loss would be giving up the dream that once was my blessing. An even bigger loss would be inspiring you not to go ahead when all you need to do is to keep your head up and go on. Thus, I thank you all for the messages full of affection and strength. Saying that the Dragon is back and then giving up will never be an option! The day I decided I wouldn’t stop fighting, I wanted to show you that, regardless of all the hardship of life, you are either a fighter or a quitter. What defines a man in his essence is not losing or winning, but his journey for what he believes. Once more, thank you for being by my side. I will always count on your support, and know that I will be supporting you back.”

A former light-heavyweight champion, Machida has now lost four of his last five fights at middleweight and is clinging on by his fingertips to the No.13 spot on the divisional rankings, so he has a major challenge ahead of him if he wants to reverse his fortunes at this late stage in his career.

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