Lyoto Machidaâ€™s fight with Mark Munoz was a big gamble in more ways than one.
Not only was the former light-heavyweight champion making the drop to middleweight on short notice to face a top contender in an overseas fight, he was also on the final fight of his existing contract.
Losing in such a situation can be disastrous in terms of renegotiating your next deal - just ask heavyweight Roy Nelson, who lost a similar gamble against Stipe Miocic - but it worked out well for Machida thanks to a first-round head-kick KO.
â€śHis win was actually bigger than we thought. I spoke to his manager and this was actually the last fight on Machidaâ€™s UFC contract,â€ť UFC Tonightâ€™s in-house reporter Ariel Helwani said on this weekâ€™s show.
â€śSo his stock is a whole lot higher after his big win. He wants to fight Vitor Belfort next. But his manager believes Vitor doesnâ€™t want to fight Lyoto.â€ť
Machida told MMA Fighting this week that Belfort â€śwould be the best fight for me right now because heâ€™s well ranked in the middleweight divisionâ€¦ Even if Vitor loses to Dan Henderson, Iâ€™d want to fight him in our weight class.â€ť
However as UFC president Dana White has observed of late, Belfort appears to â€śbe his own matchmakerâ€ť and is in the habit of turning down fights he doesnâ€™t like. That includes any and all middleweight matches unless the title is on the line, which would of course rule out Machida.
- Font Size
- Reading Mode