UFC president Dana White said Lyoto Machida could earn a shot at the middleweight championship with a win at UFC Fight Night 36. "The Dragon" got the win, but he’s not buying that promise yet.
Machida, who never got the pair of title shots he was promised with wins over Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson, is already thinking about getting back to the Octagon in a non-title fight. The Brazilian, who is 2-0 since cutting down to middleweight, is willing to sit and wait for the gold or fight another top contender sooner.
"Everybody keeps talking about the title," Machida told MMAFighting when asked if he should get a shot at the gold based on his performance in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil.
"Or course, I want to fight for the title and I did my best on Saturday night (to earn a shot), but it’s up to the UFC now to decide if I deserve it or not. I’ll be ready for anything. If they want me to fight once more time, I’ll be ready."
Machida would be ok to wait a few more months if he’s next in line against the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort, set for May 24 in Las Vegas, but doesn’t rule out another fight in the interim.
"If they want to give me another fight, someone well ranked, a fight that makes sense for me and the UFC, I would take it," he said. "But if they decide to give me a title shot, I don’t see any problems with waiting."
"’Jacare’ (Souza) would be a good option, and (Michael) Bisping would also be another good option," he continued. "I’m waiting for their decision.
"Waiting a little longer would be good because I would be able to relax and get hungrier whenever I start my next camp. But the good side on fighting again is that I would stay active."
Despite the lack of a finish at UFC Fight Night 36, Machida approved of his performance against Mousasi, a former Strikeforce and Dream champion.
"It was a technical fight, but a good one," he said. "Mousasi had several titles in his career. I knew it would be tough. Many people underestimated him, said it would be an easy fight, but I knew he would be tough to beat because of his style and his record. I wasn’t surprised on how tough he was.
"I landed some good blows, hurt him several times, but I couldn’t land that knockout blow to end the fight. That’s why I couldn’t knock him out. But I feel I dominated all five rounds, and that was really important for me."