Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida catapulted himself into the No. 1 contender role in the 205-pound division with his victory over Ryan Bader last month.
However, by turning down a pair of opportunities to fight Jon Jones for the belt this month, it is possible that “The Dragon’s” next fight inside the Octagon will not be vs. Jones – and he’s fine with that.
“If he has to take another fight before the title fight, that’s okay,” said Ed Soares, Machida’s manager, in a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “One thing that we want to know is we want to make sure that he’s 100-percent prepared for this next title shot.”
Back in late 2011, Jones submitted Machida via second round standing guillotine choke.
“Every guy who has lost to a champion twice in that weight division basically has to re-invent themselves and most likely change weight divisions,” Soares said. “For us, the way I look at it, that’s a big step. For the UFC potentially, it’s just another event. But for Lyoto, it’s a much bigger decision in his life.”
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