UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida is the fighting equivalent of a Brussels sprout – he’s chocked full of goodness but has a taste leaving more than a few consumers with a sour expression splashed across their face. Machida’s distinct brand of bittersweet was on display last weekend when he solidified his spot as top contender with a Unanimous Decision win over Dan Henderson. The crowd in attendance (and at home) was quick to boo the Brazilian, desiring a more aggressive approach rather than the cerebral strategy Machida so often employs.
Machida was left a little confused by the criticism surrounding his victory, expressing his belief he dominated the fight for the most part. “The Dragon” went into further detail yesterday in a conversation with MMAJunkie where he said he might have been able to put Henderson away had the bout been a five-round affair but was still pleased with his performance.
“Really, if I didn’t fight, then what happened to his face,” asked Machida rhetorically.
While Machida earned a title-shot with his win over Henderson, the 34-year old isn’t resigned to taking another tilt before battling for the belt depending on the outcome of champion Jon Jones’ April 27 defense against Chael Sonnen. Essentially, the gold is important to him but not the only reason he competes.
“Let’s see what happens in that fight and the timeline that they come up with and if nobody gets injured,” explained Machida. “A lot of things can happen, but depending on the timing, I could even do another fight at a catch weight or something else to not lose the rhythm.”
“It’s not just about the belt for me,” added Machida, elaborating on his openness for a different bout. “Of course, everyone wants to fight for the belt, and I’d like to fight Jon Jones in a rematch, but I want to keep fighting. I want to keep challenging myself, so it’s really not just about one thing.”
Machida improved his overall mark to 19-3 with the triumph over Henderson, his second straight since falling to Jones in December 2011.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC