Lyoto Machida has been making headlines lately, not only due to his controversial, split decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163, but because of his post-fight callouts to Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort. Of course, the promotion ended up going another direction and has announced that “The Dragon” will battle middleweight Tim Kennedy on November 6th.
Although Machida-Kennedy should make for an intriguing fight, as the latter may be one of the sport’s more underrated middleweights, the former light-heavyweight champ is disappointed he won’t meet Belfort or Sonnen next. The 35 year-old vet told MMA Fighting.com:
“Tim Kennedy is a tough guy, but I wanted to fight (Vitor) Belfort or Chael Sonnen next,” Machida said. “But sometimes you can’t choose. The UFC asked me to take this fight, and I’m in.”
“Fighting Belfort in Brazil would be a good option for me. He has his fans, I have mine, and it would be a great fight. But they decided not to do it. And Sonnen always has something to say, and he wanted to fight at light heavyweight, so maybe that would be a good opportunity to fight him too. He said he wanted to fight me in a parking lot, so I tried to make that fight, but the UFC chose Kennedy. Who knows, maybe I’ll fight (Sonnen) in the near future.”
Machida is also keenly aware of Kennedy’s decorated military record, and relayed he’s looking forward to the challenge of “fighting a war veteran inside his ‘home.”
The middleweight tilt will headline the UFC’s next “Fight for the Troops” card, which will go down at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The card will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.