Lyoto Machida’s (18-3) manager Ed Soares continues his stance that it was in the fighter’s best interest to not take on Jon Jones (17-1) at UFC 152. Soares spoke on behalf of Machida and said the rematch between them was the biggest fight of Machida’s career and a loss would be monumental.
“It may just be another event for the UFC, but for Lyoto it was the fight of his life and he wanted to make sure he was prepared,” said Soares on Inside MMA.
Jones defeated Machida at UFC 140 with a standing guillotine in the second round to successfully defend his light heavyweight championship against the former champion.
Soares used the examples of how BJ Penn (16-8-2), Rich Franklin (29-6-1 NC) and Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) all had to change weight classes after losing to the same champion.
“At the end of the day this is the second time he’s faced Jon Jones and when you look at any guy who lost twice to the same champion they need to reinvent themselves,” said Soares.
Despite losing his spot as the No. 1 contender, accepting the fight would have been a mistake Soares insists. Dana White has stated he is looking to make Machida vs. Dan Henderson (29-8) as future title eliminator fight.
“In his heart he still believes he can beat Jon Jones,” said Soares. “So if he’s going to fight, he doesn’t want to leave any regrets because if he went in and lost and had to reinvent himself, I think it would be a thorn in his side for the rest of his life.”