UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida turned down a fight with Jon Jones with four weeks’ notice understanding that there might be consequences for doing so, and now he knows exactly what they are. In a conversation with media, UFC President Dana White explained Machida (18-3) will be fighting Dan Henderson (29-8) for the number one contender slot in the light heavyweight division.
“Machida should have taken the fight,” said White (as transcribed by MMAFighting). “We’ve seen it, history always repeats itself. Look how long it took Rashad Evans to fight for the title again. So you wanted to fight Jon Jones, you climbed up to the title fight and you don’t take it. Now you’re fighting (expletive) Dan Henderson.”
“Now you might not even get to the (expletive) title again,” ranted White. “You lose to Dan Henderson you’re not anywhere near Jon Jones.”
White also provided some detail on his errant announcement about Machida stepping up to face Jones at UFC 152, crediting confusion after Machida’s management expressed confidence the Brazilian would step up to the plate.
“Me and Ed Soares thought Machida would take the fight then he turned the fight down,” explained White. “The press conference was going to start in minutes and I literally had just got done (expletive) fighting with Jones minutes before that. Now I’m (expletive) talking to Soares and I’m like ‘Machida will take this fight, right?’ Yeah I don’t see why he wouldn’t take it. This is what he’s wanted, he’s been waiting for this fight and has got four weeks to train for it. So I’m like (expletive) it, I’m just going to go with it.”
White nor the UFC have released a proposed date as to when the fight between Henderson-Machida would go down, but it most likely won’t be until early 2013 given their current slate of lineups already looking fairly full. Then again, considering the last few weeks, chances are the two talented 205ers could be headlining a show in November after another strange run of injuries and issues hit the organization.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC