In his latest submission for CBSSports.com, FiveOuncesOfPain.com Publisher Sam Caplan has penned an opinion/editorial article suggesting that if Lyoto Machida defeats Thiago Silva at UFC 94, the UFC should have Rashad Evans’ first defense of the UFC light heavyweight title take place against him.
“If Machida beats Silva, he’ll increase his MMA record to 14-0 and his record in the UFC to 6-0. With notable wins over the likes of Stephan Bonnar, Rich Franklin, B.J. Penn, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Tito Ortiz, no one can claim Machida has built his perfect record with hollow victories,” Caplan writes.
“Machida has a resume that shouts ‘No. 1 contender,’” he continues. “Whether he deserves that designation over Jackson is up for debate, but a win over Silva clearly makes him a worthy challenger for the light heavyweight title”
Caplan’s stance comes at a time when many — including UFC President Dana White — tend to be leaning towards Quinton “Rampage” Jackson getting the first show at Evans. However, Caplan believes that the UFC might want to listen to Jackson’s expressed desire to seek revenge against Forrest Griffin before he challenges for the light heavyweight title again.
“Evans’ first title defense could come in April or May, and by bundling Evans vs. Machida and Jackson vs. Griffin II on the same card, it will take some of the pressure off Evans to draw a strong buy rate and will help ease him into a headlining role,” he writes.
“Granted, the UFC doesn’t need to make Griffin vs. Jackson II just to complement Evans’ first defense, but the matchmaking would present a seamless picture at light heavyweight going forward. Regardless of which two fighters win the hypothetical 205-pound doubleheader, the victors would be positioned to go head-to-head at a later date.”
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