Lyoto Machida didn’t feel like he could prepare himself for a fight with Rashad Evans, and that is the reason the former UFC light heavyweight champion turned down the request by the UFC to face Evans last month.
Machida (17-2) was asked to step in for an injured Phil Davis and meet Evans, who he defeated for the title, in the main event of UFC 133. “The Dragon” was coming off a victory over Randy Couture that snapped a two-fight losing streak.
“The most important thing is the victory, not the money. That’s what everybody wants,” Machida said. “Rashad is a world ranked guy who could move me up to the title, but the timing wasn’t right. I wasn’t training hard. I was involved in other stuff and would not have fought properly. I’m taking swimming classes; I couldn’t in a 20-day period, over-commit myself that way and risk everything I’ve gained, especially after the last win. You give yourself up, get overconfident and throw it all away.
“I believe I made the right choice to wait for the next call from the UFC, with more time to train.”
Reports stated that Machida asked for Anderson Silva-type money to accept the fight with Evans, something the UFC was not willing to do. Instead, Tito Ortiz stepped in and lost to Evans.
Machida is looking to step back inside the Octagon before the end of the year, hoping to fight in late November or early December.
“That’s what I’ve heard,” said Machida, on the timing of a return. “I’m waiting for a match that can get me closer to a title shot, someone that can move me up. That’s my main goal.”