Former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida recently rebounded from a two-fight losing streak by defeating and most likely retiring MMA legend Randy Couture.
Unfortunately for “The Dragon,” his position in the light heavyweight division is still not quite defined; he clearly belongs with the cream of the crop at 205lbs., but hasn’t quite earned another shot at the title he once held.
The Brazilian karateka recently spoke with O Globo (props to FightersOnly.com) and discussed his standing in the light heavyweight ranks, revealing that he would likely have faced off with Ryan Bader had “Darth” made it past Tito Ortiz at UFC 132.
“They wanted to put me with Ryan Bader but he lost to Tito Ortiz last weekend so, so far I have no opponent,” said Machida.
“The Dragon” admitted that his path to the title isn’t currently clear, as most of the fighters that it would make sense for him to fight already have opponents lined up.
“I could have faced ‘Rampage’ or even Jon Jones but they will face each other next,” he said. “The other opponents that I could have fought already have fights scheduled.”
That is, perhaps, with exception to Tito Ortiz who reclaimed divisional relevancy by beating Bader and has past history with Machida, having lost to him via unanimous decision back 2008. Ortiz had moments of success against Machida though and even came closest to finishing the bout with a submission from which Machida was saved by the bell.
Machida indicated that a rematch with Ortiz is something that he’d be open to — as long as it advanced his quest for the belt.
“If it is a really interesting thing, it can happen. Not ‘financially interesting’ but interesting in the sense of, if it would move me forward, closer to the title,” said Machida. “Then I would surely take that fight.”