Following an extremely close fight between Lyoto Machida and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at UFC 123, many people, including the judges, were split on who actually won.
Someone who didn’t have any doubt however was UFC president Dana White who claimed bullishly that Rampage had rightfully won, scolded him for acting like he had lost after the fight, and shut down any plans for a rematch.
To add insult to injury he then downplayed Machida’s impressive third round display, noting, “You don’t win a fight by landing five or six punches,” – failing to note the fact that the Brazilian had taken Rampage down and dominating him on the ground as well.
Speaking on twitter (translated by Tatame) Machida indicates his annoyance at White’s apparent snub.
“As for my boss, I won’t waste any time talking about him. As he said: he’s the president, he can do whatever he wants to. Who am I to argue with someone who talks like that and thinks he’s always right?”.
Machida does not blame the judges however.
“I think I’ve won, but I have to respect the judges work. Making mistakes or not, there were trained to be there, so I can’t judge them. My father has always taught me since I was little on my Karate competitions, that there were unfair outcomes: ‘Son, you can’t blame the judges, the responsibility of winning or losing is all yours. You have to be the best so they can’t say otherwise. They can give the win for either one of you, if they want to.”
Thought disappointed, the former champion is keeping his head held high and believes that he performed as planned on the night.
“I was glad with my performance, with my preparation. My team did a great job. Its outcome wasn’t anyone’s fault. If it happens, it was the way it was supposed to happen, I have to learn something from it.”
It’s the comments aimed at Dana White that are going to attract the most attention though, giving a sense for the first time that ‘The Dragon’ is not happy with the head of the company. He’s not the only one. Ironically the man who Machida claimed the 205lb title from, Rashad Evans has also been voicing his frustrations recently, though without going so far as to name White directly.
Coincidentally Machida’s friend and countryman Anderson Silva also appears to have a somewhat strained relationship with White at times.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Machida is still undoubtedly a major asset to the division, and someone who could yet fight again for the title, but with back-to-back losses under his belt he’s not in the strongest position right now.
I don’t think he’ll get cut if he loses another fight, at least I hope so anyway, but making an enemy of someone like Dana White doesn’t often bode well for a fighters long-term future in the UFC.