Lyoto Machida, once considering an unstoppable force in his division, has had a rough time recently. After losing the light heavyweight title to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in 2010, Machida has failed to retake the belt, losing again to current champ Jon Jones in 2011. Since then, he’s gone 2-1, recently dropping a decision to Phil Davis at UFC 163.Machida is undeterred though, and sounds more driven than ever to get his career back on track. In an interview with The MMA Hour, the Brazilian stated that he wants to get back into the octagon, and wants to do so in a big way.
“I just want to do a big fight, you know? Belfort is the first name on a list because he is a big name and a great opponent,” Machida said. “I think Belfort is a perfect opponent for me. But, he hasn’t accepted that fight. Then, Dana White told me about Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz is a great opponent, too, but I’m just waiting for UFC. ”
Neither of those bouts seem likely now. Belfort has yet to respond to the offer, and his manager has previously said that he would only return to the division for a title shot. A bout with Diaz seems even more farfetched. Not only is there a huge weight difference between the two, but Diaz is currently more or less retired.
However, after last Saturday’s event, another intriguing match-up possibility has opened up.
“Last Saturday, I saw the fight with Shogun and Sonnen and saw a great opportunity to fight Sonnen, too,” Machida said. “Sonnen is a great name, a big name around the world and I think I can beat him. And he talked bad about me back in the day.”
That is of course, unless Sonnen drops back down to middleweight as rumored. However, he has stated in the past that he’s willing to face Machida if the offer presents itself.
Lyoto Machida is currently 19-4 overall. He is ranked #2 in the division according to the official UFC rankings, although that is likely to change following his recent loss to Phil Davis (ranked #4).