UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida was guaranteed a title-shot after knocking Ryan Bader out at UFC on FOX 4. However, when the Brazilian was unwilling to face champion Jon Jones on short notice he drew criticism from UFC President Dana White and promptly found himself booked for action this coming weekend against Dan Henderson.
With Chael Sonnen lined up as the next contender and Alexander Gustafsson threatening for the top spot, there’s a chance Machida may have to win another bout before getting his crack at the gold even if he beats Henderson. If that’s the case, it appears Machida could end up testing himself as a middleweight to see how he fares in a fresh division as he’s hinted at in the past. In fact, Machida only clocked in at a svelte 201 pounds for his August outing against Bader and is in similar shape for his scrap on Saturday night.
“The Dragon” was recently asked by MMAJunkie if he still had middleweight on his mind, confirming the drop down was still in his plans though maintaining it wouldn’t be a means of trying to challenge friend/teammate (and champion) Anderson Silva.
“Maybe I can fight in both classes,” said Machida, adding, “If I have a chance, I would like to fight at 185 pounds.”
Before looking too far down the road, the 18-3 Machida will have to mix it up with Henderson at UFC 157. “Hendo” is currently on a four-fight winning streak with numerous notable victories among the 29 total triumphs he’s compiled over fifteen years in the sport.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC