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Lyoto Machida out until mid-January with hand surgery

lyoto_machida-025It appears fans will have to wait a bit longer for the rematch between light-heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. After the controversial decision that went to Machida during UFC 104, it was rumored that Rua would get a rematch as early as January 2010.

Many believed Rua won the fight, including UFC president Dana White, who immediately began lobbying for a rematch. Both fighters verbally agreed to the rematch, but recent reports indicated Machida had undergone surgery on one of his hands. has since been able to confirm the reports through Machida’s manager, Ed Soares.

“He had surgery yesterday on his left hand,” Soares said. “The doctor said it was a complete success. “Lyoto’s hand has been actually injured for a while,” Soares said. “Before the fight with ‘Shogun,’ he went to the doctor, and he went to a special surgeon in Brazil. Basically, they say said that he was going to need surgery, but he didn’t want to cancel the fight. He just roughed it through this training camp. The hand has been bothering him for quite a while now. It was one of those situations. He just roughed through it.”

Soares was quick to point out the surgery was not being used as an excuse for the champions performance at UFC 104, “We’re not trying to make any excuses or anything. We didn’t come out and say anything. We said Lyoto was 100 percent, which he was. But his injury has been bothering him for a while, so we went in and had the surgery, and they found bone spurs. They found a bone fragment down there. There were about four things the doctor said were causing him pain. Thank God they cleared him all up yesterday.”

According to Soares, Machida will need at least six weeks recovery, with an additional two to four weeks before being able to train at 100 percent. With this timeline, it will push any immediate rematch closer to March or April, but Soares declared the fight will be against Rua, “We want that fight. We want to leave no doubt who the light heavyweight champion is.”

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