Lyoto Machida and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua both scored stoppage wins last night, but it was Machida that got the title shot which had been promised to the “most impressive” UFC on FOX 4 light-heavyweight winner.
At the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White gave some insight into the thinking behind giving Machida the title shot over Rua - it seems there was a little more to it than being more “impressive”.
“His management has been all over me, terrorizing me to get him back to the title. What I can tell you is he wants it bad. That's very important to me - how bad a guy actually wants that fight - and Machida wants it bad,” White said.
“I'm sure Lyoto has lay in bed every night since that fight thinking of all the things he should have done and what he could do and what's possible. Now he's got it, so we'll see.”
White also noted that “leading up to this fight [with Brandon Vera], Shogun did turn down a fight [with Glover Teixeira]”.
Obviously that counted against Rua in the title shot consideration, but of equal importance is probably the fact that Machida is the only person who has really given Jones a fight in the UFC thus far. Machida won the first round of their fight before being finished in the second with a standing guillotine.