Lyoto Machida came up short in his big to win the UFC’s middleweight title at UFC 175, losing out my unanimous decision to Chris Weidman, but he did have his moments in the fight, particularly in the championship rounds, and he still believes he can work his way back to the top if he plays his cards right.
“They might give me two or three fights before another title shot, or something can change on the way with my performances and they give me another opportunity earlier,” Machida says in an interview with MMAfighting.com. “Anything can happen.”
With that in mind ‘The Dragon’ is eager to return to the Octagon sooner rather than later to begin his ascent back up the ladder.
“I would like to fight again in October,” Machida said. “I want to fight again before December. The sooner, the better. I will be ready to fight after Oct. 20. I don’t want to wait too much. I only need six weeks to be in shape to fight.”
That may well fit in nicely with the UFC’s plans since UFC 179 takes place in Rio De Janerio, Brazil on October 25th and since they haven’t announced any other fights yet for the pay-per-view event they could certainly use a fighter of Machida’s stature on board.
As for who he should fight, Machida, who’s still ranked at No.2, says he’s keen to face a top 5 opponent if possible, and one name in particular springs to mind.
“Rockhold is the best option,” Machida states. “He’s ranked at No. 5, so he’s the best option. But I don’t have anything against him, he’s a nice guy and we’re professionals.”
Rockhold doesn’t have a lined up at this moment in time, so unless the UFC have something else up their sleeves for him that we don’t know about yet it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t put this fight together, potentially as the event’s co-main event underneath the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.