Former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida believes the winner of his UFC 157 co-main event bout with Dan Henderson should be next in line for a title shot.
“I believe, out of this fight, whoever wins should definitely be the contender for the title. If we’re number one and number two then the title shot should definitely be on the line in this fight,” Machida said on a UFC 157 conference call on Tuesday.
Machida replaced an injured Rashad Evans at UFC 140 and stepped in to face champion Jon Jones. After a competitive opening round, Jones knocked Machida down in the second round and choked the Brazilian out with a standing guillotine choke.
Machida had an opportunity to rematch Jones at UFC 152, following the cancellation of UFC 151 after a suitable opponent couldn’t be found to replace the injured Dan Henderson. Machida turned down the fight citing not enough time to prepare.
Machida on Tuesday said the time just wasn’t right to take the bout at the time.
“I obviously wanted a title shot a lot, but it wasn’t the right situation. I had about 20 days to prepare for the fight, and Jon Jones had been training for two or three months, so it wasn’t the right time. I was upset, but everything happens for a reason and hopefully I’ll get back on top this year,” said Machida.
The fight with Henderson takes place on Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The historic event is headlined by the first ever female fight in UFC history between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche.
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