Lyoto Machida Confirmed to Get Next Title Shot Following UFC 157 Win Over Dan Henderson | MMAWeekly.com
Lyoto Machida defeated Dan Henderson at UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche on Saturday, earning a title shot against the winner of Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen.
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.
Dan Henderson: “(Lyoto Machida) Did a Good Job Not Fighting”
“In my mind, I thought I did enough to win the fight, but it was my fault. I don’t place the blame on the judges. I should have been a little bit more aggressive. I let him fight his fight a little too much,” said Henderson during the post-fight press conference.
Machida frustrated Henderson with his counter-punch style and elusive movement. The fight didn’t play out as Henderson envisioned
“I apologize for that. Normally that’s not my type of fight, a little bit boring. He did a good job moving around and was real hard to hit. I needed to stay in his face and cut him off a little bit better and make him fight. He did a good job not fighting, just picking and choosing when he threw some strikes,” said Henderson.
“He did a good job moving and I shouldn’t have let the judges decide that fight.”
The frustrating loss only serves as motivation. Henderson wants to stay active throughout 2013 and believes he has more to accomplish in the sport.
“Obviously, I’m bummed out. I wasn’t planning on losing, and I’m not by any means done. I still have goals that I want to reach in this sport. I want to fight as soon as I can. I’m ready to go in June or July. I didn’t have the best last few months, but I feel a lot better now and I want to be real active this next year. That much time off is never good. I don’t want that to happen again. I’m getting a little old,” he said.