Lyoto Machida Thinks Daniel Cormier Should Have to Earn a Light Heavyweight Title Shot

July 25, 2013
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Lyoto Machida UFC 157 Pre 6-478x270Undefeated heavyweight Daniel Cormier has talked about making the move to the 205-pound division well before he even arrived in the UFC.

Following his final Strikeforce bout on Jan. 12, the former Olympian said he planned to drop to the light heavyweight division by the end of 2013 and kick Jon Jones’ (expletive).

During a recent episode of UFC Tonight, it was revealed that Cormier’s UFC 166 match-up with Roy Nelson would be his final fight in the heavyweight division and he plans to ask for an immediate title shot in the 205-pound weight class if he’s victorious on Oct. 19.

The possibility of Cormier dropping down and jumping in line for a title shot doesn’t sit well with top light heavyweight contender and former champion Lyoto Machida.

“I believe that there’s a ranking and it should be followed,” said Machida during a media conference call on Thursday.  “There are a lot of guys in line right now in the weight class to fight for a title.  I’ve been waiting in line.  There’s Glover Teixeira, there’s Phil Davis, so there’s a lot of guys in there in the mix.”

According to Machida, title shots should be earned and not given.

“If he’s going to move down to 205, he’s going to need to put a couple of fights in, or at least have a significant win in a big fight,” he said.  “I don’t think it’s right for him to just come in and cut the line.  I think he’s going to have to show that he deserves that title shot.”

Machida faces Phil Davis at UFC 163 on Aug. 3.  If he wins, it will be his third consecutive victory since losing to champion Jon Jones at UFC 140 in December 2011.

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  • bajafox

    I would agree depending on the outcome of his fight against Nelson. If he dominates Nelson, then there is no doubt he should have a crack at the title. No other fighter at 205, not even Lyoto, is as intriguing as Cormier v. Jones. If he barely squeaks by Nelson, then yes, he should have a fight or two at 205 to earn a shot. Hopefully one of those against Lyoto

    • laleggenda

      Title shots shouldn’t be given out simply on the basis of intrigue. DC will have had two fights in the UFC, he fights in a weaker division than 205, he has never fought at 205, and we can’t even be sure that he could make 205, yet he should jump the entire 205 line? Despite Dana’s penchant for gifting title shots, the belt should be more meritorious than that.

      And while Jones-DC might be intriguing to hardocres such as you or myself, DC’s doesn’t carry the mainstream intrigue that might call for an immediate shot.

      • bajafox

        In a normal world where rankings in the UFC mattered I would agree 100%. We both know that’s not the case…

        • Marcus Miles

          If DC gets a crack at the 205 belt if he beats Nelson, then the belt don’t mean sh!t. There is no value in something that isnt held to a high standard. The hole point of fighting to be a champ is to kick all the asses of everyone there is to be the champ. The main stream is killing this sport in a way.

          • shakejunt

            the mainstream appeal isn’t the case here though. bormier is someone relatively unknown to a casual fan and is really being pushed by everyone who isn’t fond of jones. that potential fight has nothing to do with ppv buys or gate attendance, but more so with providing jones with a challenge he hasn’t faced yet.

          • Marcus Miles

            Yeah it is. Do you remember when DC was taking shots at Jones on twitter and it was made public, so many people were on that buzz on these forums. They have been going at this for some time now And thats what they are doing with these articles, seeing how many people respond and if a lot of people do respond in a positive way, this fight will be exactly for gate attendance and PPV. Tell me , why else would they give him a shot when he isnt even ranked at 205? Same thing with Cheal. There is plenty of people Jones can face still in this devision that have put in their time. Cormier isnt unknown, he dosnt have the name of a Jones but people know him and are hearing about him and doing research.

          • p3ezy

            sorry you completely contradicted yourself there. just a heads up.

          • Marcus Miles

            How do you figure, im simply stating why i think DC should wait for a shot and not just get it. I sure didnt say he shouldn’t, then say he should did i? Im simply saying if the fighters lobby enough for a shot and the fans get interested in it, these fighters bipass the whole division and get shots and its BS. Back in the day it was never like that. No contradiction buddy.

  • laleggenda

    Of course guys who are in the mix for a title shot would be rubbed the wrong way by a fighter coming from a different weight class and getting an immediate title shot. No news there.

    Practically speaking, I think it makes more sense for DC to take a fight or two at 205 before taking on Jones. He’s had serious weight cutting issues in the past, so it’s uncertain how his body will react to cutting for the first time in like five years. Perhaps he wouldn’t be able to make weight. Or maybe the cut would dramatically affect his performance. For his own sake, it would probably be smart to take a fight or two to get acclimated to the division. It would also give him the opportunity to gain more name recognition with the casual fans.

    On a side note, I have to agree with Machida on this one. Generally speaking, the only time I believe it’s reasonable for a fighter to change divisions and jump the line is if he’s the champ in his own division. DC isn’t the heavyweight champ, hasn’t beaten anybody in the top 3 of his division, and is ranked number 3 or 4 in one of the worst divisions in MMA. DC is awesome, but this shouldn’t qualify someone for an immediate title shot in other divisions. If that were the case, imagine the division-jumping chaos that would ensue.

  • zztoppppp

    I personally don’t think he will get past Nelson, but assuming he does, I think he should fight Machida, Shogun, or the winner of Bader-Texeira first.

    • Werdoomb

      wow. you think a dude that beat Bigfoot, Barnett and Mir can’t beat Nelson????

      That is some nuthuggery.

      • John Bunch

        In his defense, I’m guessing he’s playing the “matchup” card…which does seem to apply in certain situations…I could see Nelson giving him issues, but not saying it’s a loss.

  • Rambo McFlurry

    Or tell him that only Chael gets to talk himself into title fights in a new weight class. Offer him the winner of Cain/JDS, or tell him to drop to 205 and get in line.

  • Ian Price

    Yeah, at least one warm-up fight…. Against a top-3 LHW! I’m down with that.

    • Maddawgmar

      I wouldn’t consider a top 3 LHW a warm up fight. I would call that a title eliminator.

      • Ian Price

        Me neither. Go back and reread my post. It was an intentional understatement.

  • Supaman

    Machida just bitter that he got passed over by Gustaffson.

    • Werdoomb

      naw, I don’t even think Machida wants to fight Jones anytime soon. Because he knows how strong Jones is and should he lose again, his career at 205 is over unless (a) Jones moves up to HW or (b) Machida is content being Josh Koscheck/Jon Fitch of the LHW division.

  • Manuel Lopez

    Machida shouldn’t say anything, he’s been ducking Jones for a while now. I don’t think he feels capable of doing any different in a rematch.

    • Werdoomb

      yup!!! 🙂 this is 100% accurate. Like I said above, Machida knows that he only has one chance left against Jones.

      • John Bunch

        …I guess the round one I watched is different from the one you two watched. If Machida (who I respect but don’t dig) keeps the pressure up and says “screw the tentative BS”, he has a shot imo…or he did anyway. Jones has progressed since then, but I’m not sure Machida has…still, he has a shot…if Jones stays at LHW once he gets the title defnese record at that weight class.


    ALL You who say DC don’t deserve s***, then explain how the f@** Chael got all those opportunities???
    Jus Sayen & Dont say he saved cards…

    • Werdoomb

      Believe me, the anti-DC/pro-Nelson comments are coming from TUF noobs. These are the same people that thought Kimbo would win the whole tourney and had never heard of Nelson before TUF.

      TUF nerds are often against non-UFC fighters. And since DC is from SF, he must be overrated. Yeah…good argument. Roy Nelson is a top 3 fighter…yeah…okay.


        I agree, Also how is Stipe not in the conversation? Should be DC v Werdum or Overeem & Nelson v Hunt!!! And if DC wins yes he can drop down and ask for a title shot at 205, yes he can, yes he can, yes he can!

        • Berry

          you agree with Nelson not being rated top 3, yet if Cormier beats him you say he can shout for a title shot? Nice logic pal.
          Should be a good fight, now that Cormier has got his first UFC fight out of the way hopefully he’ll be more comfortable in the Octagon and be able to showcase his stuff. Say what you want about Nelson but if you perform like Cormier did against Mir for 15 minutes you will get some pressure from Nelson at some point and he hits hard. All in all Cormier should win but I’d like to see Nelson KO him simply for demanding an immediate title fight with Jones

          • John Bunch

            …you just upset some very self-assured, albeit delusional individuals…you have my respect, as little as it is worth. Very solid reasoning bro…

          • AXE MURDERER

            You no Nothing!

    • Marcus Miles

      Chael for sure didn’t deserve all those shots either. DC has rights to call for title shots at HW for sure i think but at 205, who is he???

  • julian moran

    DC is 12-0. He beat Mir, Barnett, Big Foot. If on top of that he beats Nelson, he deserves to fight anyone, in any weight class as long as he can make weight.

    Yes, it would make more sense if he fought a top lhw in his next fight instead of Nelson. However, the reason he is not, is simply that he can’t make weight so soon and just wants to stay busy.

    Give him a break.

    • Werdoomb

      TUF noobs simply don’t understand. DC is currently the only HW that has a three win streak against top 10 opponents. DC is rightfully ranked at #3 right now, after Cain and JDS.

      Anyone picking Nelson is a retard.

      • John Bunch

        So that entitles him to a shot at the LHW belt? Normally you are entertaining in your hyperbole but you need to connect the dots a little more effectively. Feel free to insult my intelligence as you enlighten me…wait, you were going to do that anyway…cool. 🙂

  • solo

    If DC wins his fight and Texeira beats Bader, i would love to see DC VS TEXEIRA fight for the title shot. Doesnt that make sense the most? Two fighters who can put a decent challenge for Bones crown.
    And as much as i like Machida, i dont think he can be champion as long as Jon is the champ. He’s been at the top, and he fought almost everyone in the division. So i would like to see him drop to 185 if Weidman beats Silva in a rematch. With that we got so many interesting fights.

    • John Bunch

      That makes sense based on the available fights…Tex has done nothing but prove himself against everyone the UFC puts in front of him. The Bader fight is a waste for him imo…he needs a top 5 guy to solidify his lhw ranking…but beating DC will work just as well. I can already see the excuses though, if Tex beats DC…DC dropped too much weight, too quick, yada yada yada…

  • 9.dashed.brain

    Rankings would matter… If UFC is a sport.