UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida was disappointed when his UFC 89 opponent, Thiago Silva, was forced to pull out of their match due to an injury. It would have been a battle of significant importance, as both fighters not only risked their perfect 13-0 records, but the winner would have certainly propelled themselves to title contention in the UFC’s deepest division. Machida is now calling for “Sugar” Rashad Evans instead.
“I continue training,” Machida told Tatame.com. “I can’t be caught unprepared for a fight, but I’m training less now, doing only some physical training, Jiu-Jitsu and Karatê… They didn’t say anything, but told me that this fight (with Thiago Silva) still can happen.”
Realistically, Silva will not be available and Machida knows it. In fact, he has already started looking, and asking for the division’s top contender.
“I’m waiting for any situation, or face him (Silva), if he gets better, or having another opponent,” Machida stated. “I would like to face Rashad Evans, and the winner gets a title shot, but now it seems like they will put him against Forrest Griffin. I’d like to face him and the winner gets Griffin, it’s a good way.”
It is all but certain that Evans’ next match will be against current 205-pound champion Forrest Griffin. In fact, UFC President Dana White has already stated as much, most likely at UFC 92. But Machida is accustomed to waiting, and he will continue to do so, just as long as he can face an elite opponent.
“I don’t know how it’s gonna be,” he says. “I’m ready to fight, but don’t want to fight (just) anyone, because I’m building my way in UFC and I want to fight the top fighters so that they could give me a title shot after.”
It is possible that the UFC could pit Machida against Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, who has been recovering from a second knee surgery. If the UFC decides to match him up against the former #1 light heavyweight in the world, that would be fine with him. In fact, a win over Shogun would only solidify his standing for top contender status.
“I never choose opponents. I leave it to UFC and my managers, what they want for me is good. If they think (a) fight (with) Shogun is better I’ll do it. I’m prepared to for everything,” stated a confident Machida.
That is something that all 13 of his previous opponents would attest to.