Former UFC Light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida faces a lengthy wait before his next fight in the Octagon.

Dana White told reporters at the weekend following UFC On Versus 6 that due to a lack of suitable opponents we are unlikely to see ‘The Dragon’ back again until next year.

Machida also confirmed on his Twitter account that, “Guys, I think no octagon until next year.”

The 33 year-old’s last fight was back in April at UFC 129 when he got back to winning ways with a flying front kick KO against Randy Couture.

He was then approached to be a late replacement to face Rashad Evans at UFC 133, but negotiations faltered after Machida’s camp asked for what White would later term as “Anderson Silva money.”

That angered the UFC president, but on Saturday night he claimed that was all now water under the bridge and that he was not now deliberately trying to stop him from getting another fight.

“The position that Machida is in right now is like what happened with Rashad [Evans]. Rashad turned down a fight and said ‘I’m going to wait for Shogun’, right? He’s gonna wait until this guy who blew his knee out got better, and then people started getting injured left and right and he was out for a year and a half, and that’s what’s happening to Machida now.”

This does appear to be the case. Many of the top contenders at 205lbs are already booked in the coming months, and the man that the UFC had earmarked as Machida’s next opponent, Phil Davis, is still recovering from an injury so they’ve been left with no choice other than to shelve the former champion for now.

White did however point out that Machida could be the first person they turn to if any of their major 205lb fighters who are already lined up to fight get injured in the coming months.