Although Luke Rockhold blew away the entire MMA world when he cruised through Lyoto Machida at UFC on FOX 15, the latter says an illegal elbow played a crucial role along the way.

The highly regarded middleweights met on April 18th, and after Rockhold battered “The Dragon” with ground-and-pound strikes in round one, Machida was clearly in rough shape. In round two, Rockhold took Machida down to the mat again, and shortly after, secured a fight ending rear-naked-choke.

Well, Machida is scheduled to fight Yoel Romero now on June 27th, and recently appeared on “The MMA Hour”. During the segment the former light-heavyweight champ was asked about the defeat to Rockhold, and Machida relayed the following (quotes via MMA

“I’ve watched it maybe 3-4 times, that fight,” Machida said. “I saw that I got an elbow on my neck, he elbowed my neck and I was so dizzy that time. Then, when I went to corner, I barely hear my brother, so when I got back to the fight, I was so dizzy, my legs were wobbly. I wasn’t recovered. So suddenly I fell again, and he was smart and capitalized.”

“I thought that was illegal shot,” Machida said. “But, it’s not a problem because it’s a fight, something happens sometime. I think it wasn’t on purpose, but I think it happened, it made me bad.”

Rockhold faced questions about the elbow not long after the fight, and not surprisingly, he believes the shot was legal. Either way, obviously things might have been different if Machida hadn’t taken the fight turning shots.

All this aside, now Machida will have to worry about Romero, who is clearly no joke. If the 37 year-old Machida hopes to remain with reach of another title shot sooner than later, he’s going to need a win.

Rockhold, meanwhile, is expected to challenge middleweight champ Chris Weidman later this year. In large part (if not entirely) because of his win over Machida.