Plenty of fans and pundits were excited to see what Lyoto Machida could do at 185, and following his memorable KO win over Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30, it’s even more true now. Of course, since Machida is a former light-heavyweight champ and just took out the #5 ranked middleweight, “The Dragon” is set for another big fight next.
But who could it be? While Machida has fielded plenty of questions about the possibility of fighting his friend and teammate Anderson Silva, that’s not a fight that’s going to happen just yet (or ever depending on what happens at UFC 168). When Dana White was asked about Machida’s next bout, the UFC President brought up the man who’s set to fight Dan Henderson on November 9th (comment via MMA Junkie.com).
“I think, and I’m just talking here as a fan, not as a promoter, I think a lot of people want to see him and Vitor Belfort. That would be a fun fight. Vitor’s got to win down in Brazil. And who knows – (Machida) could fight someone else before that. But I’m just saying, as a fan, and speaking for many fans, that’s the fight they want to see. At least that’s what everyone was screaming at me on the way out of the arena tonight.”
While there’s no question that would be a massive fight, one would think that if Belfort takes out “Hendo”, he’s going to resume campaigning for a shot at the winner of Weidman-Silva II (Belfort is currently ranked #2 in the division). Machida relayed to FOX Sports 2 that he’s interested in fighting contender Michael Bisping next, but White doesn’t believe the injured fighter will be ready to go in early 2014, as “The Count” hopes.
“I love Mike Bisping, but here’s the thing – he’s out for six months,” White said. “Have you seen his eye? His eye is a mess. So he’s going to be out for a while. What he believes and what the doctor believes are two different things. When he becomes a doctor, then I’ll start listening to what he believes about his eye.”
So, there you have it. It will be interesting to see who the UFC books for Machida next. It’s also worth noting that Gegard Mousasi tweeted he’s interested in fighting “The Dragon” next, when the former Strikeforce champ returns from knee surgery he underwent earlier in the year.
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