This is the best news I’ve heard all week, assuming it’s true.
Lyoto Machida’s official website has a little note in sidebar that says his next fight is in September, presumably UFC 103, with a picture of Rampage Jackson underneath it. What I’m really saying here people is the UFC light heavyweight title won’t be held hostage again by another season of TUF! Machida and Rampage have been strongly rumored to be coaching the season 10, but maybe the UFC chose to go in a different direction, or maybe that’s all they were, rumors. Either way, as long as the show isn’t holding up a title fight, I couldn’t care less who the coaches are.
Hopefully, we’ll hear confirmation soon.
Thanks to reader Ann for the tip. Image courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com
Update: Nevermind about them not coaching TUF. Rampage just confirmed he’s coaching TUF 10 on his twitter feed (via Cagewriter). The coaches have always fought at the end of the season, which in this case will be December I believe, so either Machida’s site is wrong or they’re changing it up. I assume we’ll find out soon enough.
Update II: Things are starting to make a little more sense now. Rampage will be coaching the 10th season of TUF, however, Machida will not. According to Fighters Only, Rashad Evans will, likely meaning they’ll be fighting at the end of the season whether Rampage has the belt at that point or not. While it’s not confirmed yet, it seems the Sept. title fight between Machida and Rampage could still be a go.
Update III: UFC officially announces Rampage and Rashad as TUF 10 coaches. No mention of Machida defending his belt against Rampage in September though.
Update IV: Well, well, the picture is getting clearer by the minute. Dave Meltzer is now saying Machida will be defending his title before Rampage & Rashad square off, but not against Rampage. His opponent will be announced in the next few days. Meltzer thinks Shogun is best bet, but that’s just speculation. I’d have to agree, he may not deserve it, but really, who else are they going to give it to? Rampage and Rashad will fight in December to determine next title challenger. I’m not sure how crazy I am about this turn of events. Thoughts?
Update V: I feel better now about Rampage not getting the first shot at Machida like he was supposed to. Apparently, Rampage chose to coach against Rashad on TUF 10 over the title shot. Also, Dana White said Machida will not be fighting in Sept. at UFC 103 as his site suggested. Shogun is now strongly rumored to be Machida’s first challenger. Sounds like we’ll be hearing something more concrete very soon. Shogun at Zuffa today (pic)
Update VI: Inside Fights updated their post and now say they have “100% confirmed” that Machida’s first title defense will be against Shogun. It’s expected to take place in Sept. or Oct., although Dana did say Machida’s not fight in Sept. so Oct. seems more likely. Not too familiar with the site, so I can’t with certainty that this is true, but with the way things have gone down today, it seems like a safe bet. Crazy how this all worked out.