Lyoto Machida has waited years for his shot at a UFC title. He’s completely dominated every fighter that’s had the misfortune of being in his path en route to an undefeated professional record of 14-0; earning big wins over Stephan Bonnar, Rich Franklin, B.J. Penn, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Tito Ortiz and Thiago Silva.
Machida is 6-0 in the UFC and holds wins over three former or current UFC champions. Does he think he’s done enough for a title shot?
Everyone was saying that if I beat [Thiago Silva] I’d fight for the belt, but it didn’t happen. But I can’t worry about that. Imagine if I were thinking about the next fight and I lose this one? It’s the same thing now. I’m here working on things and I’m already thinking about returning to Belém to train. Then I’ll start preparing for my next fight whether it’s for a title or not. I just need to make good fights and it will happen.”
Machida has always played the good solder for the UFC. He hasn’t complained about being passed over or doing Dana White’s dirty work by taking out Tito Ortiz, but that doesn’t mean the Brazilian isn’t getting a bit antsy for a shot.
He knows that his title shot aspirations may very well rest upon the outcome of a match-up between former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Kieth Jardine. Rampage has been virtually guaranteed a title shot against current champion Rashad Evans should he make it passed the ever-dangerous Jardine.
“I’m cheering for Jardine, but I think that Quinton is stronger, hits harder… I think Quinton is the favorite. I think I’ll have to wait a bit more. I’d be willing to do one more fight [before a title shot], but only if they gives me a good opponent. Someone with a big name. I don’t want to go down again. Everything that the UFC’s wanted be to do, I’ve gone along, but now it’s time for me to start to ask a bit too.”
A case could be made that Machida deserves a shot now, and White himself stated that Machida would earn a shot should he defeat Silva, but a match up between the current and former UFC light heavyweight champions will likely be too intriguing for the UFC to pass on. Should Rampage defeat Jardine as expected he’ll get the next crack Evans. But Machida’s got next.