Nostradamus might be a bit strong, but comparisons to the ancient soothsayer may be in order after Dana White laid down the prophacy of Lyoto Machida weeks before his breakout performance against Thiago Silva.
“I saw it early on in Matt Hughes career,” White said. “I saw it early on in Liddell’s career, Couture. Any of those guys that ended up becoming big stars and real exciting fighters, it took them awhile to feel comfortable in the Octagon. And once you start to feel like that’s your house, you start to let it go more. And I think that’s gonna happen to Lyoto Machida too. And when it does, not only is he gonna be the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, he’ll probably be one of the most exciting fighters you’ll ever watch.”
Many brushed the comments off as the usually Dana White chatter; comments made to sell tickets and promote his events. But White was vindicated with his remarks regarding Machida after the Karate fighter completely dismantled fellow undefeated Brazilian Thiago Silva this past Saturday. Machida was both elusive and exciting at the same time. He moved deftly around Silva’s powerful strikes and landed almost at will, eventually him out without taking so much as a punch.
So, what’s next for the still undefeated, budding superstar? If it’s up to Machida, he’s ready for a title shot and Rashad Evans.
“I’d like to fight with Rashad, but if it’s not possible I don’t pick another opponent,” Machida told Tatame. “I’ll fight whoever comes. I might think [that I deserve a title shot], but Dana is our boss and I’ll do whatever he says. It’s good for me because when I get where I want I’ll really deserve it”.
Let me be the first to say – Machida really deserves it right now. He’s fought six times in the UFC, all of them wins, none of them close. He’s defeated three former UFC champions en route to a perfect 14-0 record and he settled Dana White’s personal score with Tito Ortiz by handing him a lopsided decision loss which prompted Ortiz’s exit out of the organization. Machida has done more than proven his mettle in the octagon. Now it’s time to see if he has what it takes to be a champion.