Opinion: Former Champion Lyoto Machida Has an Upcoming Title Shot
By Michael Hatamoto
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is expected to compete for the LHW championship against either Jon Jones or Chael Sonnen in 2013.
Until then, Machida could take a fight against a different opponent, according to Machida’s manager, Ed Soares. Machida doesn’t want to sit out more than six months, and hopes to be much more active inside the Octagon.
Since losing in his championship fight against Jones in 2011, Machida has bounced back by besting Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson. I believe a two-fight win streak against Bader and Hendo is enough to earn another crack at the championship, because Machida has always been near the top of the division.
Soares admits he is uncertain about how the rest of 2013 will unfold for the Brazilian former champion.
I’m not interested in seeing Machida fight Jones again – and don’t expect Sonnen to beat Jones – so we will have to see what the UFC wants to do. If the champion is out of action due to injury, Machida could request the winner of Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Gustafsson, which takes place at UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi next month.
I hope to see Machida compete sooner rather than later, especially if he’s healthy and motivated to use his karate-based striking style. Assuming Jones gets by Sonnen, the UFC is quickly running out of potential matchups for the dominant 25-year-old. It’s possible a rematch would be an easy sell to casual MMA fans.