UFC President Dana White was left with a good problem to have last night when Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua both emerged from their respective rumbles at UFC on FOX 4 with a strike-based stoppage in tow. Machida’s came in the second round of his co-headlining clash with Ryan Bader after dropping “Darth” with a well-placed punch and sealing the deal with a few shots on the ground, while “Shogun” secured victory in the fourth frame of his main event match-up against Brandon Vera thanks to a late surge of strikes in a back-and-forth battle.
After the event White declared Machida the light heavyweight division’s top contender, pointing to his win as the “more impressive” of the two. The outspoken executive elaborated on his decision during Fuel TV’s post-show coverage where he revealed Machida’s performance wasn’t the only factor he weighed when handing out the opportunity to win divisional gold.
“Most impressive in that, not just for the knockout, but he seems like he wants it more now than ‘Shogun’ does. ‘Shogun’ is not giving me the vibe that he’s ready for a title-shot and he wants (the champion). Machida does. Machida’s flat out told me,” explained White, avoiding any specifics pertaining to his perception of Rua’s lack of competitive fire other than to say he hadn’t seen as much of it from him as he had from “The Dragon”.
Watch the full interview with White below where he offers up his assessment on Bader rushing in only to get caught with a finishing blow, Mike Swick’s return to glory, and Vera’s gutsy showing in a bout he entered as a major underdog:
PHOTO CREDIT – TRIUMPH UNITED/UFC