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Lyoto Machida believes Vitor Belfort contradicts himself

Wander Roberto/UFC

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Lyoto Machida is set to face off against Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 36 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, on Feb. 15, but he wanted to fight Vitor Belfort instead.

Following a quick knockout win over Mark Munoz, "The Dragon" said he would be open to take on Belfort in his second middleweight fight. "The Phenom", however, said he should not call him out because they are Brazilians.

"He contradicts himself a lot," Machida said during a media day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "He says everyone should fight each other because it’s professional, but then he says we shouldn’t fight each other.

"It’s hard to understand. What does he mean? Why is he contradicting himself? I have nothing against him, we’re good, but we’re professionals."

Machida is still open to fight Belfort or any other top contender in the division after he faces Mousasi.

"If you want to get to the top, you can’t say you won’t fight this one or that one," he said. "You have to be open to fight the best.

"Vitor has been dedicating himself a lot do he was able to get outstanding results, great knockouts, so he rightfully is the next in line for a shot at the title. He deserves all this, he was impressive this year."

Belfort is the next in line for a shot at the middleweight title, facing the winner of UFC 168’s Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva, and Machida sees tough opponents on the horizon for him.

"This division has tough fighters, maybe one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC," he said. "We have Anderson, Weidman, Belfort, Jacare, Mousasi and Munoz, and all of them would be top ranked in the light heavyweight division. I'll keep training hard to get there."

Machida has been training at Black House for his recent fights, but he could move his camp to American Top Team for UFC Fight Night 36.

"I don’t have ties with any team so I can go where I feel I’ll get the better training partners for a specific fight," Machida said. "I’m training with Glover (Teixeira) and (Fabricio) Werdum, so maybe I can go to American Top Team to see if that’s the place where I’ll get the best sparring for me."

"The Dragon" won the light heavyweight championship when he was training with his family in Belem, Brazil, but doesn’t regret moving away from his hometown.

"It’s important to have the support of your family, but when is time to move away? You have to walk with your own legs one day," he said. "Having your father to help you to get back up is good, but you need to get up by yourself and walk alone. Life goes on."

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