Lyoto Machida May Have Earned Title Shot, but Injured Foot May Complicate Things

February 16, 2014

Lyoto Machida UFC 157 Pre 6Lyoto Machida walked out of UFC Fight Night 36 with a win over Gegard Mousasi, but it came with a noticeable limp.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion and now-highly ranked middleweight said he may have broken his foot in the main event of the fight card that took place on Saturday night in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil.

“I don’t know what happened exactly, but maybe in the third round I did a kick and he defended with his knee,” Machida told FOX Sports in a post-fight interview. “I don’t know if I broke my foot.”

Machida said he fought through the pain, continuing the fight after the third-round injury and putting on a show to earn a unanimous decision over someone he looked at as tough opposition.

His focus was all on Mousasi, Machida said. Pain, as much as it might have hurt, couldn’t get in the way.

“I didn’t think about my foot,” he said. “I just tried to keep my focus on the fight because I know Mousasi was a tough opponent.”

Machida successfully landed a number of kicks, attributing that fact to Mousasi’s hands being down and away from guarding his face. He was confident in his kicks, Machida said, and this likely comes from his comfort in his new division. A former 205-pounder, middleweight seems to fit Machida much better because he can utilize his technique, speed, and strength much better at the lighter weight.

Welcome home, “Dragon.”

“Now I found my weight,” he said, answering a question about dropping to 185 pounds. “Before, back in the day, I fought at 205, but there are a lot of big guys. But in this weight class, I feel like a big guy. Mousasi, for example, is shorter than me. I can fight against everybody.”

Now Machida hopes that his win on Saturday in Brazil will translate to a shot at the UFC middleweight crown. Current middleweight king Chris Weidman is preparing to defend his strap against Vitor Belfort at UFC 173 in May, and at the time of this writing there’s no indication how long it will take for Machida to recover from his foot injury. A trip to the doctor’s office will undoubtedly reveal more in the coming days, giving an idea as to when and if he’ll face the Weidman vs. Belfort winner.

If Machida recovers, he’ll likely be in the mix to contend for the title, but Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza also made his claim for being the next in line with a win in the evening’s co-main event. Souza said earlier that he wants his shot, but that’s not up to him, Machida said.

Time will soon tell the fate of the middleweight elite.

“I don’t know who deserve the title shot. Dana White is the boss and he can decide everything,” Machida explained. “But I think I deserve the title shot, too.”

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