Lyoto Machida Willing if Dan Henderson is Next

September 14, 2012
32 Comments

When he turned down a short-notice fight with Jon Jones at UFC 152, Lyoto Machida knew that in doing so, he was likely going to have to take another fight or two prior to getting another shot at the UFC light heavyweight champion.

And he’s ok with that.

Turning down the Jones fight with roughly four weeks to prepare was a difficult decision for Machida. Was it enough time to get some preparation in for the fight? Sure. But it was a short enough time that it wouldn’t allow Machida to be as fully prepared as he typically is for a fight, especially one of such magnitude.

“I want to serve the UFC and recapture the belt,” Machida said after declining the Jones fight. “I always respect my opponent. For those reasons, I must prepare myself in the manner I believe in.”

Having lost to the champ once already, Machida knew that if he didn’t win the fight, prepared or not, it would likely knock him out of even thinking about title contention any time in the foreseeable future.

If you lose two in a row to the current champ, third chances don’t often come around, so Machida decided to take a step back, even if that meant he’d have to wait around a little longer or even take another fight.

UFC president Dana White on Friday, at a media luncheon in Las Vegas, made it clear that Machida would indeed have to take another fight, and that it is likely to be against Jones’ original UFC 151 opponent, Dan Henderson.

“He should have taken the fight,” White said of Machida’s UFC 152 decision on Friday. “We’ve seen it, history always repeats itself. Look how long it took Rashad (Evans) to fight for the title again.

“So you wanted to fight Jon Jones, you climbed up to the title fight and you don’t take it. Now you’re fighting (expletive) Dan Henderson. Now you might not even get to the (expletive) title again. You lose to Dan Henderson you’re not anywhere near Jon Jones.”

Evans went more than a year scheduling and rescheduling fights due to injuries and various other circumstances before he finally got the title shot that he had earned. Machida could find himself in the same situation, but he had to make the decision that he felt was right at the time.

Coming from a very disciplined traditional martial arts background, honor and respect are huge elements of Machida’s fighting culture, and preparation for battle is part and parcel to that.

As he said after the decision to decline the UFC 152 Jon Jones fight, Machida’s camp on Friday reiterated to MMAWeekly.com that he is willing to do what is necessary to fight his way back to the belt.

If that means a fight with Dan Henderson is next, Machida’s camp has no problem with that. Henderson will be on the mend for the next few weeks, but if the UFC wants Machida to fight Henderson next, that’s what he’ll do.

The likelihood of a Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson match-up was first reported by MMAFighting.com.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more UFC 152 news and updates.

  • Machterf5

    Anyone else getting sick of Dana White constantly being pissed off that people are thinking more about their long-term career rather than saving his events when shit hits the fan because he can’t put together a card with more than a few big name fighters?

    • rileydobbe

      Yeah, but Machida is giving Jone Jones more confidence after denying a fight. Dana White knows what hes doing but his ego can get in the way, i wonder what the next president will be like.

    • MuayThaiFood

      Gotta respect Machida for not bowing to pressure knowing that Dana could put him back in line. No complaints either. He’s obviously not scared of Jones and he’s not just after one big paycheck.
      I see him taking out Hendo anyway and being right back at the front of the line. Besides this b.s. about doing it for the fans is just that. I want to see these guys in top form when they fight and if that means a full training camp then I have no problem waiting.

  • Machterf5

    Caps lock is not the best way to get your point across. It makes you look like you’re a raving psychopath.

    Not to mention that this article is about Machida, not Anderson Silva or Chris Weidman.

    • adam1848

      +1

    • dgs

      +2.

      What a tool he is.

    • RonnieV

      +3 That’s funny!

    • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

      In every article that guy writes in caps and the same thing. Silva vs Weidman, Weidman destroyed Munoz. Anyway.. this fight is awesome, I love Machida and Henderson. I just won’t bet against Hendo though, the wrestling and the H bomb and his aggressiveness. You never know though, Lyoto is a scary dude.

  • adam1848

    Awesome. LOVE this fight! Would rather see these two fight each other than either one of them fight Bones. I won’t even make a prediction because this is one of the more even fights in a long time. Hendo could KO Machida early, or Machida could sub Dan late. Machida is the best counter striker ever (in my opinion) and Dan has one of the best right hands ever (in everyone’s opinion). Dan has great wrestling, Lyoto has unbelievable take down defense. This better be a 5 rounder. Can’t wait!

    • gnodeb

      Absolutely! For me is way more exciting to watch too contenders fight each (when they are 100%) then watching title fight on short notice or champ beating some can. Simpy, I like fights that have some meaning for the division.
      Machida against Dan is excellent fight.

  • Cptmats

    #1 Stupidest comment ever !
    #2″So you wanted to fight Jon Jones, you climbed up to the title fight and you don’t take it. Now you’re fighting (expletive) Dan Henderson. Now you might not even get to the (expletive) title again. You lose to Dan Henderson you’re not anywhere near Jon Jones.”
    Machida turn down the biggest fight of his career on short notice because he knows he wont get a third shot, yet Jones turns down a fight with a MW who isn’t even a contender when he all ready in fight shape and somehow Machidas the douche bag ?

  • maddawgmar

    So Dan Henderson gets hurt then loses the title shot all together… Thats BS…. Jones will be ready for another fight by the time Hendo heals.

  • WarriorScholar

    Yea Denny you sound real dumb

  • soboc1

    You can also beat a dead horse, but that still doesnt make Weidman #1 contender or make you spit his testicles out.

  • drewnathan

    I actually agree with Dana White here. You hear guys talk a big game about how when their opportunity comes, they’re going to take advantage of it, and what they would do for another chance at the title, and they have the heart of a champion, etc etc.

    “Hey, you wanna fight for the title?”

    “No, it’s too short notice. He’s too dangerous. I might lose. I might lose my endorsements. He doesn’t deserve a shot anyway.”

    Man up and fight. That’s your job. The other fighter is fighting on short notice too.

    • gnodeb

      For us is just another evening of fights. For Dana is just another day in office. For fighters on top of their game is much more than that.
      Taking your career seriously is what makes you a man. Acting irrationally just for 5min of amusement of random crowd makes you teenage boy…

    • philmckracken

      Right on!! Ive never told my boss to give someone else the job because I have to prepare or I dont know if I can do it or I need another month to get ready. If your good at your job and labeled as the best, then there shouldnt be any problem doing your job. I dont know if Vitor can beat him, (prob not) but Id take a guy like that or Chael for my company anytime. On the other side Dana is wrong too. My boss would never throw in my face how well he pays me or that I owe him for the things I have because of the money I make with him. Thats childish on Dana’s part. Pick up the phone and do it in private. Its young ego against super ego instead of two “buisiness men”

      • smill0313

        First off, just because you dont need more time to prepare to switch from trash duty to fries doesnt mean an elite calibur fighter has to have the same mentality, dumbass.

        Second, the other guy (Sonnen) had literally everything to gain and NOTHING to lose especially since he wont legitimately get anywhere near the LHW title. You are a straight up moron if you think Sonnen took the fight “to save the card” he took it for personal gain.

        • philmckracken

          I deal with about 500 thousand dollars of equipment and 4 to 6 guys I have to tell what to do everyday. If hes the elite fighter you say then the fight they offered should be no problem. No $hit personal gain a$$hole but it would have saved the card. Chael would have got his ass beat Im sure but he was willing to step up. Machida wasnt, Shogun wasnt. Where is your logic for them? They arent the champ. Vitor stepped up… personal game? Duhhhh. I have a question for you King douche. What company, any company, any trade, can a guy tell the boss no, I cant do my job because Im not prepared to do the job? I know…. elite athletes. I gotta go flip a burger and take the trash out.

          • philmckracken

            and correct personal game to personal gain. Then find the Muaythaifood guy and aggravate him.

          • zacharydetal

            I’m confused, are you saying Jon Jones isn’t an elite fighter? The thing with Chael is no matter how much time he had to prepare for Jones he was going to lose and he was aware of that. Machida and Shogun actually have a shot to win so they would want to be ready. I would fight Jones for a six figure pay check any day of the week

          • philmckracken

            Never said hes not an elite athlete. I think hes either the best or second after Anderson. Im not saying Dana isnt wrong for having a weak card. Im not saying Dan Henderson is not wrong for not telling about injury sooner. Im not saying Jones is completely to blame. Im saying he went through a full training camp ready to fight. Fight If he loses to Chael after he went through full training camp and Chael didnt then he doesnt deserve to be the champ. I get it about training for wrestler, southpall… I get it. Navy seals are elite right? They are elite because they are ready for anything and anyone. Guess there are two different types of elite.

  • drewnathan

    I actually agree with Dana White here. You hear guys talk a big game about how when their opportunity comes, they’re going to take advantage of it, and what they would do for another chance at the title, and they have the heart of a champion, they’re not afraid to fight anyone, etc etc.

    “Hey, you wanna fight for the title?”

    “No, it’s too short notice. He’s too dangerous. I might lose. I might lose my endorsements. He doesn’t deserve a shot anyway.”

    Man up and fight. That’s your job. The other fighter is fighting on short notice too.

  • anthonyforrester

    UFC needs to go back to one card a month. That’s all they have the talent for. Then they can put 2 or 3 good fights on one card.

    • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

      I’m sure all the fighters appreciate you saying that. How do you expect other fighters to get exposure? Even if you don’t know the names of guys, when they fight on those free events, that gives them such a big push for sponsors and exposure. It’s helping guys get known. How are you an mma fan and making comments like that? Makes no sense.

    • gnodeb

      There is only one Superbowl per year. But without whole season that one game wouldn’t mean a lot. Every game during season has it’s meaning. Superbowl is just a pinnacle of the whole season.

      Should be the same with title fights. We need a lot of fights with meaning. That is what match maker should do. Promoter should hype these kind of fights and they should explain the meaning. I don’t care what fighters do at home or what god they believe in it. It’s all fake anyway. And from time to time we should have a title fight as a pinnacle of long title run.

      Short notice title fight is as stupid as Superbowl with one team made of random dudes…

  • philmckracken

    I agreed with Anthony when they first started with so many fights but I agree with you now because seems like the smaller named fights are better than the big names. Maybe more hungry to succeed. Some of the big fights I was looking forward to fell flat.

  • lowlb

    Dana White has become a complete ass.
    I side with the fighters not the (expletive) businessman.
    Only the fighter and there trainers know why they turn down fights, but I bet it’s for good reasons.
    Dana’s just missing the money. Dana doesn’t fight but he calls people out all the time for not fighting. He should have more respect for the folks who saved him from a life of being a Jazzercise instructor.

    Tough fight for Hendo. If he loses, how is he going to fight Jones?
    He wants a title before he retires. Makes sense..
    It’s a great fight. The best in a while.
    Dana sees the dollars and is kinda throwing Hendo to the Dragon.
    If the H-bomb doesn’t connect, Hendo will get knocked out.

  • stevemcz11

    I like this fight. Let Jones fight Gustaffson or Texiera. My money is on Machida by Crane kick for this one :)

  • jtmma

    “You lose to Dan Henderson you’re not anywhere near Jon Jones.”

    Really? Wasn’t Shogun essentially in a #1 contender fight HIS NEXT FIGHT after losing to Henderson? Dana must have a horrible memory.

  • ultimatebrosky

    this would make a good fight.. rashad said he was interested in fighting machida or shogun… put together a fight with shogun and rampage or Evans.. preferably shogun n rampage since he’s on his way out.. if he pulls a rabbit out of his a$$ and makes it look good maybe a rematch with rashad if he decides to stick around

  • zacharydetal

    Machida will destroy Dan Henderson just like Jon Jones was going to. No way Henderson lands the TRT Bomb on Machida.