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Lyoto Machida’s camp not fazed by fallout from turning down title-shot

Fans of UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida may have been upset by UFC President Dana White’s decision to renege on a promised title-shot as the result of the Brazilian’s refusal to face champion Jon Jones without more time to train but “The Dragon” appears to be fine with the situation. Machida earned his crack at Jones’ belt based on a knockout win over Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 but wasn’t interested in taking it on September 22 based on quick turnaround.

“Whatever the UFC wants is fine. I’m not tripping on that,” said Machida’s manager (Ed Soares) in an interview with MMAJunkie.

“Five weeks ago is the first time we heard his fight is supposed to be for a title shot,” continued Soares, mentioning Machida was only brought into the conversation after fans complained about the UFC stating a bout between Mauricio Rua-Brandon Vera was poised to determine the division’s #1 contender. “Lyoto and Ryan weren’t really in the title shot. The only reason (White) did it was because people were giving him sh*t about it. So for Lyoto to need another fight, that’s fine.”

Machida’s win over Bader was his first since being choked out by Jones this past December. However, the former 205-pound champion holds an overall record of 18-3 in his career with notable wins over Rua, Tito Ortiz, and Rashad Evans.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

6 COMMENTS
  • moosebaby02 says:

    I sense some bitterness there from Ed.

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  • MCM says:

    Good, he should have to put together a three or four fight win streak anyway.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Ed sounds mostly annoyed to me… with all the drama, and with Dana’s fly by the seat of his pants style of managing things. Dana tries to shuffle things around like he’s managing a fantasy f*cking football roster, rather than dealing with the careers of professional athletes.

    Yeah there’s has been a brutal run of bad luck with injuries, which makes things tricky to manage, but there still needs to be a reasonable balance. These are professional fighters, facing the highest level of competition in the world, getting about 2 fights per year, with huge money involved where each win/defeat can make a huge difference.

    And then there’s the personal element…

    “Machida is not next in line now … before this happened he was terrorizing me for a title shot. Then he said four weeks wasn’t enough.”

    Dana was apparently butt-hurt about Machida’s refusal to fight Jones on short notice, so he yanks the title shot away. If DW had laid it out more logically, suggesting that timing & circumstances dictated that Lyoto will have to fight again before his shot since Hendo is likely to return from injury in a reasonable amount of time to face the Jones/Belfort winner, that would be perfectly reasonable. But based on DW’s actual words, it falls more on the side of his own petty personal feelings (so what else is new).

    I really have no problem with Lyoto having to fight (and win) again before getting another shot. As Soares pointed out, Lyoto wasn’t even in the #1 contender picture up until recently, which made perfect sense given the fact he was coming off a submission loss to the champion. But then all of a sudden the fans start making noise, and as a ploy to generate more buzz for the FOX event, DW comes up with the idea that whoever wins most decisively gets the next title shot. That’s a pretty flimsy way of handling the contendership picture. I like that the UFC is willing to consider fan interest when putting together matches, but it should be a small factor in the overall decision. Fans are fickle by nature, with obvious biases, so to make decisions based too much on fan input is just foolish…it starts to chip away at the legitimacy of the sport.

    I just wish there was more structure & consistency with how the UFC handles the division rankings/contendership/title fights. And I’d imagine the fighters & their camps feel the same, and are becoming increasily annoyed with silly drama and–at times–completely baffling maneuvers such as sticking a guy from a different weight class, coming off a loss, who isn’t even in fight shape into the main event to fight for Jon Jones’ title. And then when the ridiculous plan falls thru, the real contenders–headed by the champion–are the ones who get tossed under the bus. The UFC had their own little batshit crazy moment; life is weird and it sometimes happens. But hopefully they learn from their recent blunders to avoiding stepping in it again.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    “Good, he should have to put together a three or four fight win streak anyway.”.

    Bingo.

    Although the fact Lyoto’s own manager apparently understands this better than the UFC prez is kinda wacky.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Screenplaya says:

    I don’t get it. DW makes it such a big deal that the best winner among Bader/Machida/Vera/Rua will get a title shot, and now he goes back on his word. I would say this is ridiculous, but not when you consider the same guy canceled a night of fights and then did his level best to diminish a great champion and an elite trainer for it.

    I think if Dana wants to continue making decisions for this company, he needs to learn to show more respect to his fighters and he needs to learn the difference “a title shot” and “a last minute contract offer at a fight you won’t have time to prepare for.”

    I usually dig Dana, but this month he been a complete moron. I wonder if he recently went of some important meds, or quit smoking, or started taking testosterone injections along with everyone else. :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Lord Faust says:

    The only reason either Machida / Bader or Shogun / Vera were for title shots is because FOX wanted something to sell the show’s importance.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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