UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida was under the impression he’d be fighting for a championship after beating Ryan Bader a year ago. Likewise, “The Dragon” was given the same sort of guarantee after narrowly outpointing Dan Henderson in February. Be that as it may, Machida is on deck to duke it out with Phil Davis (11-1) this weekend at UFC 163 and divisional king Jon Jones is booked for a bout with Alexander Gustafsson.
If successful in the showdown, Machida feels he’ll have done enough with a third straight victory against a Top 10 opponent to dismiss discussion on the likelihood of Glover Teixeira or Daniel Cormier leap-frogging him.
“I think I earned my title-shot in the fight against Henderson, but there are things you can’t argue. So I was surprised, but my focus is now on Phil Davis,” said Machida in an interview with the UFC’s website. “I believe that after beating Davis there is no discussion about who is the number one contender.”
In Davis, the 19-3 Machida will encounter an accomplished amateur wrestler with slick submissions and improving stand-up. Then again, with victories over Bader, Henderson, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Rashad Evans, Machida isn’t too concerned about Davis’ mat-based prowess.
“I have always fought well against wrestlers, so I’m comfortable,” confessed the confident Brazilian.
Fans can catch Machida-Davis on the PPV portion of Saturday night’s show.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports