Lyoto Machida ponders move to middleweight division

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

TORRANCE, Calif. -- It was a lean and trim Lyoto Machida who met with reporters on Wednesday afternoon after his UFC 157 open workout at the UFC Gym here in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion clearly is going to have little trouble making weight Friday for his bout with veteran Dan Henderson. But Machida showed up so fit, one can only wonder: Can he make it down to 185 pounds?

Machida indicated that's a question he's been pondering himself.

"Yeah, if I have a chance, I'd like to fight at 185 pounds," Machida said. "Maybe I can fight in both classes, you know? Everybody saw when I drank water before [stepping on] the scale last time. I showed everyone I can, that I can drop down."

Of course, there's a big obstacle awaiting Machida if he was to drop to middleweight: One of his best friends in the business is his Black House campmate, champion Anderson Silva.

"The champion is my friend," Machida said. "He's Anderson Silva. He will continue his career here. He's number one pound-for-pound in the world."

But that doesn't mean Machida can't take fights at 185 pounds for the sake of taking interesting fights. When asked if there was anyone he'd like to fight at middleweight, Machida demurred.

"UFC can choose [an opponent] for me," Machida said. "Anderson has his deal and I have my deal."

In the meantime, Machida still is very much in the mix at light heavyweight. While Machida and Dan Henderson are generally regarded as the top two contenders for Jon Jones' title, there has been no promise of a title shot for the winner. Machida, who was previously promised a title shot after defeating Ryan Bader on Aug. 4, then turned down an offer to fight Jones on three weeks' notice in September, isn't letting title talk get in the way of Saturday's fight.

"I think who wins, me or Dan henderson, deserves the title shot," Machida said. "But, anything can happen inside the UFC. I don't think about that, I'm just focusing on my fight right now."

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