Prior to the bout, UFC president Dana White announced that the winner would be the number one contender, but the fight wasn’t exactly in the running for Fight of the Night honors. Plus, Alexander Gustafsson is matched up against former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi on April 6. With a win, Gustafsson wouldn’t be a hard sell as the next challenger for the light heavyweight belt.
White, however, confirmed his earlier stance during the UFC 157 post-fight press conference that Machida will indeed get the next title shot.
“He just beat the number one contender, which would make him the number one contender,” said White.
“Dan Henderson is one of the toughest guys in the sport. You don’t knock Dan Henderson out. Lyoto took some big shots from Dan. Dan took some big shots from Lyoto. It wasn’t a barnburner. It wasn’t the most exciting fight you’ve ever seen. You won’t be writing stories about this fight until the end of time, but Lyoto won the fight. He beat the number one contender. He beat Dan Henderson.”
Leading up to the bout with Henderson, Machida expressed an interest in dropping down to the middleweight division. Those plans are now put on hold.
“With this opportunity, I want to stay at 205. I want to fight for the belt,” said Machida.
Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen will determine whom Machida faces next at UFC 159 on April 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., when the two clash in the main event with the light heavyweight title on the line.
“I have to see the match-up between Cheal Sonnen and Jon Jones,” added Machida. “And then we’ll see what happens.”