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Lyoto Machida willing to take any fight with enough time to train

When UFC President Dana White announced UFC 151 would be cancelled he assured media on the conference call that the next challenger for Jon Jones’ title would be former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Fans were later surprised to learn Machida had turned down the fight, but according to Machida’s manager Ed Soares it was a decision they had to make very carefully based on the implications even if it made the road to get back into #1 contender status a little longer.

“Every guy who has lost to a champion twice in that weight division basically has to reinvent themselves and most likely change weight divisions. For us, the way I look at it, that’s a big step. For the UFC potentially, it’s just another event. It’s just UFC 151 or (UFC 152) or whatever it is, but for Lyoto it’s a much bigger decision in his life,” explained Soares on MMAWeekly Radio.

Getting a third crack at a title-shot in the same division is a relatively rare thing in the UFC, and, according to Soares, that was definitely part of the conversation when deciding on declining the UFC’s offer.

“Lyoto wants to make sure he puts his best foot forward and be 100-percent. Because if he loses, it’s not just like he’s losing another fight. He really has to sit back and reinvent himself and figure out what am I going to do,” Soares continued, noting that Machida was definitely willing to fight Jones for the second time but doing it with less than a month to prepare simply was not enough time for the former champ.

“If he has to take another fight before the title fight, that’s okay too,” Soares admitted. “But one thing that we want to know is we want to make sure that he’s 100% prepared for this next title shot.”

Ultimately, as a result of Machida’s stance, Jones will defend his title against former champion Vitor Belfort on September 22 at UFC 152 while Machida waits to hear from his UFC bosses in terms of his next move.


  • Rece Rock says:

    it didnt bother me that lyoto & shogun both said no to the short notice fight with jones because both these guys know if they lose a 2nd fight with the champ then they arent getting another shot against him…. so yeah if i was in their position i would want a full camp and the best scenario possible.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    I didnt need an explantion form Lyoto for turning down the fight on short notice. I didnt know why he did and didnt need to know why. The last time he stepped in there with Jones it was on short notice I believe and ya he took the 1st round but he got choked out standing up in the 2nd for fucks sakes. That was more than enough reason for me to want a full camp when taking on Jones for the title. But thinking from their point of view its a still a valid reason

  • Niv says:

    Valid reasons not to fight on both Machida and Shogun’s part. Hopefully this will help on the matter and stop the ridiculous hate Jones received for turning down a fight with an undeserving Sonnen.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I doubt it does Niv, I don’t think the hate is going away for awhile against Jones, and he doesn’t really seem to be making it better with some of the comments he makes to the media and stuff

  • Screenplaya says:

    I am definitely with Niv on this one. Fighters should not be expected to fight anyone put in front of them at a week’s notice. And this is even more true for champions. We applaud and celebrate those fighters who do, but we sure as heck shouldn’t be pissing on the one’s who don’t. Anyone who agrees with Machida’s decision, but hates on the champion for doing the same thing, is not being rational. You can dislike Bones, and call his behavior juvenile, but at least give him the breaks you would give his challengers.

  • Angry Mike says:

    We can debate back and forth forever about whether fighters or a specific fighter should take a championship fight on short notice. For me, though, the real question is the competence of an organization that puts itself and it’s fighters in that position in the first place.


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