Lyoto Machida Loses Place in UFC Light Heavyweight Line

Written by Tom Ngo
September 5th, 2012

UFC Lyoto Machida

Exactly one month ago, light heavyweight Lyoto Machida (Pictured) solidified his top contender status by putting Ryan Bader to sleep on primetime television. Fast forward just 30 days and “The Dragon” has already lost his place in line.

In an interview on FUEL TV, UFC president Dana White claimed Machida’s decision to decline a UFC 152 bout against champion Jon Jones on one month’s notice has cost him next dibs.

“Lyoto has been crying for this title shot for a long time, and you know how this stuff goes,” White stated. “When you turn down the opportunity to fight, things start going in another path. It happened to Rashad Evans. Rashad Evans was out of a fight for a year-and-a-half.

“Machida is not next in line now. He will need to go fight somebody else first.”

White initially announced the Jones vs. Machida rematch on a monumental conference call after he was forced to cancel UFC 151. However, the Brazilian had hopped a plane destined for jiu jitsu country and had never accepted the sequel.

White simply assumed it was good to go, and we all know what happens when one ASS-U-MEs things. White ultimately paid the price less than 12 hours later and was forced to backpedal and replace Machida with Vitor Belfort.

MMA’s head honcho won’t make that mistake again.

“When I make a fight, I don’t say a word until everything is signed,” White admitted. “I did exactly what I never do. That big media call was the next day and Machida couldn’t be reached and his manager thought he’d take the fight.

“Before this happened he was terrorizing me for a title shot, and then he said four weeks wasn’t enough [time to prepare for Jones].”

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