After UFC president Dana White promised a victorious Mauricio “Shogun” Rua or Brandon Vera would get next dibs at the light heavyweight crown, Saturday’s scrap against Ryan Bader instantly became less significant for Lyoto Machida (Pictured).
Previous reports suggested that if Machida posted a devastating finish against Bader, he could potentially leapfrog into a title fight. White unexpectedly, yet decisively, killed that chatter on Monday.
Unfortunately for “The Dragon,” he didn’t receive the disappointing news until he was on the conference call with the rest of the mixed martial arts media.
“No, I wasn’t aware. I just found out from this conference call,” Machida expressed through a translator. “Really, anything can happen. Obviously, I’m trying to train as hard as I can and go out there to put on a good fight, and I will try to trace a way back to the title.
“But that’s not really what I’m focused on right now. I’m focused on training hard and going out there and putting on a great fight.”
While the stakes aren’t nearly as high as they were just 24 hours ago, Machida understands an impressive showing keeps him in the hunt to get his belt back.
“I think the UFC always positions themselves correctly,” Machida added. “This fight could be a great fight and it could be deserving of a title fight.”