Lyoto was born in Salvador, Brazil, as the third son of the highly ranked head of the Brazilian branch of the Japan Karate Association, Shotokan karate master Yoshizo Machida (町田嘉三). Yoshizo moved to Brazil from Japan when he was 22 years old, where he met and married Lyoto’s mother, Ana Claudia, who is of Portuguese and Italian descent. Growing up in Belém, Lyoto began training in karate at the age of 3 and earned his black belt at the age of 13. He also began training in sumo at the age of 8 and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing at sixteen. He won a number of amateur karate tournaments, including the 2001 Pan American Karate tournament. Later he travelled to Thailand to study Muay Thai, to Japan to study grappling at the NJPW Dojo and finally to United States to pursue his UFC career.