With Lyoto Machida out of UFC 89, December or January return possible
With original opponent Thiago Silva injured and with the Ultimate Fighting Championship unable to secure a new opponent, light heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) has been pulled from the UFC 89 fight card completely.
His manager, Ed Soares, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that UFC VP of Talent Relations Joe Silva expects Machida to return in December or January.
More than likely, Machida, who most recently defeated Tito Ortiz for his fifth consecutive win in the UFC, won’t get a title shot in his next fight.
With his stunning knockout of Chuck Liddell this past weekend at UFC 88, Rashad Evans secured the next shot at current champ Forrest Griffin’s belt. And, even with the new layoff, Machida is unlikely to face the winner of that fight — not until he gets another victory, anyway.
“I think we’ll definitely need to win one more before [Machida] gets a title shot,” Soares said.
Although Machida’s sometimes-elusive fighting style and propensity to take fights to decisions have been criticized, Machida has found phenomenal success during his five-year pro career. In addition to UFC wins over Ortiz, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Kazuhiro Nakamura, David Heath and Sam Hoger, Machida also owns victories over the likes of Stephan Bonnar, Rich Franklin and B.J. Penn in outside organizations.
With Machida’s absence, the official UFC 89 fight card now includes:
- Michael Bisping vs. Chris Leben
- Keith Jardine vs. Brandon Vera
- Luiz Cane vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
- Chris Lytle vs. Paul Taylor
- Shane Carwin vs. Neil Wain
- Marcus Davis vs. Paul Kelly
- Akihiro Gono vs. Dan Hardy
- David Bielkheden vs. Jess Liaudin
- Terry Etim vs. Sam Stout
- David Baron vs. Jim Miller
- Per Eklund vs. Sammy Schiavo