Unless you’re the president of the Vitor Belfort fan club, or “The Phenom” himself, you’re probably pretty, pretty pleased that Anderson Silva came around and agreed to rematch Chris Weidman at UFC 168. Regardless of who wins the bout, it’s going to be a ridiculously massive and important fight.
While Silva initially said he didn’t want to pursue the middleweight belt any longer, the legend obviously changed his mind, and Lyoto Machida recently relayed that the UFC was a driving force in that decision. While speaking to the Brazilian publication Globo.com, Machida stated the following, while discussing whether a move to 185 may still be in his future (quote via Google translate):
“I am willing to do this test and transit in this category. I’m not such a great guy for the weight-heavyweight. So, I find no difficulty in fighting this category (average). I’m expecting a better position of my business, and after this fight, we better see what will happen to take a favorable decision. Anderson has won the belt and the rematch is more than fair for a guy who dominated for long. He might not want to fight for the belt, but the UFC asks. I believe that not only was Anderson’s will prevailed.”
And here is a translation Fighters Only Magazine posted:
“I want to make this test and fight in this weight class. I am not a very large guy for light heavyweights, so I don’t find difficulty at all in fighting as middleweight. I am waiting a better position from my managers and after this fight we are going to see what will happen,” he says.
“Anderson’s rematch is fair; the guy rule division for long time. He maybe didn’t really want to fight for the belt again but the UFC demanded it. I believe it wasn’t only Anderson’s intentions that prevailed in this situation.”
Interesting stuff, and it will also be interesting to see how Machida does against Phil Davis at UFC 163, Saturday night. That’s a huge bout for both guys.