With UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on the shelf until at least March of next year, Brazilian MMA super-agent Ed Soares has a suggestion to keep the light heavyweight division intriguing in the meantime — an interim title fight between Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans.
“Honestly, we’d like to fight ‘Shogun,'” Machida’s manager, Ed Soares, today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “Now it’s 1-1. It’s even. Let’s do this rubber match. Let’s figure this out. Granted, he won by decision and ‘Shogun’ won decisively, but anyone can get caught in this sport. He went in for the kill, and unfortunately, he got caught.
“Since ‘Shogun’ is out – they’re saying until March – personally, when there’s an injured champion, I would love to see maybe a Rashad-Lyoto match for the interim title. I think that would be something that would be cool, and the winner of that would get to fight ‘Shogun’ when he’s all healed up in the spring of next year.”
Slick Ed, real slick. Problem is the UFC generally doesn’t book former champions coming off one-sided losses in title fights, even meaningless interim title fights. Ed’s smart though. He knows that, which is why he’s merely suggesting it and not demanding it. He threw other names out there as well for Machida like Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin and even Vitor Belfort. Bottom line, “whoever the UFC gives us is fine.” Just as long as they it keep it a secret from Machida’s father. After one loss, he thinks it’s time for his son to retire.
While Soares works on getting Lyoto Machida his next fight, he also has Anderson Silva’s middleweight title defense against Chael Sonnen to worry about. He’s heard everything Sonnen’s been saying about Anderson and himself, and he welcomes it. He understands Sonnen is just trying to promote the fight.
“As far as Chael talking all the crap that he’s talking, hey, Chael kind of struck a nerve that people are paying attention to. Unfortunately, before he started talking about Anderson, no one really paid attention to Chael. Now that he talks about Anderson, people are paying attention to him. God bless him. Good. Keep talking… To be honest with you, I actually like Chael. He’s always been really cool, but he’s taking this thing really personal. That’s OK. Whatever he’s got to do to get in his mind to motivate him to really want to fight Anderson… At the end of the day, he should ask himself – when he stands up, he should wake up in the morning and go into his bathroom and look in the mirror and say, ‘Do I really, really believe that?’ Because if you do, congratulations, but I don’t think he really believes what he’s saying. I think he’s just getting caught up, and he’s convincing himself that this is what it’s going to take for him to beat Anderson Silva… Hey, a fight’s a fight, and anything can happen,” Soares said. “Good luck to Chael. I like Chael. He’s not a bad guy. He’s promoting the fight.”
True, Sonnen has said some pretty crazy things about Silva and his camp that would infuriate anybody, but in reality, he’s actually doing them a huge favor. Not many people walked away from UFC 112 willing to pay another $50 to see Anderson Silva dance fight again. Chael Sonnen has done a lot in the past few months to fix that.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com
Update: Shogun’s response to Ed Soares suggesting an interim title fight between Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans.
Last week I had a meeting with them Dana White and (Lorenzo) Fertitta and nobody said anything about an interim title or anything like that, so I’ll fight with my usual belt on my next bout… Well, I don’t know any of it. As far as I’m concerned, it won’t happen… I believe he’s trying it on the behalf of his athlete, but for what I know I’ll fight with my belt in hands. That’s the only think I’m positive about. It’s Lyoto’s interest, only because you wish it, it doesn’t mean you’ll have it, but for me, it doesn’t change a thing. My belt is the official, and if they want to fight for an interim belt before, it doesn’t change a thing for me.