Lyoto Machida did nothing to ingratiate himself to the UFC brass when he asked for a significant pay increase to step up on short notice to fight Rashad Evans for an injured Phil Davis.
Machida was high up on the short list of possible replacement opponents for Evans, who held top billing on this month’s UFC 133 fight card, and looked to be a lock until he asked for what UFC president Dana White referred to as “Anderson Silva money.”
White’s response was essentially, “Accomplish what Silva has accomplished and you’ll get paid what he makes” and Tito Ortiz was eventually tapped as the man to face Suga. Though he didn’t exactly curry favor with the UFC or many MMA fans with his tough negotiating, Machida told Brazilian new source Terra Esportes that he’s unapologetic about how things turned out and would do it the same way if put in the same situation again.
“I ask forgiveness for the misunderstanding, but not for what I’ve done, because I was not wrong,” said Machida (props to BloodyElbow,com for the translation). “I never accepted the fight. I was coming back from injury and I had only been training for two weeks. In fact this training routine was only to keep in shape, and not for fighting.”
Machida became the target of some criticism for raising his asking price, but he explained that it simply came down to risk vs. reward and, in his eyes, an increase in risk should bring an increase in reward.
“To patch a pothole, the price is different. It’s my career on the line,” said The Dragon. “As I’ve said, I was coming back from injury and was only training for a small amount of time. I only asked for the type of money that would guarantee me tranquility for a certain time, because if I were to lose it would put me on the back of the line of candidates for the title. Aside from also being potentially injured, Rashad is not just ‘any’ type of fighter.”