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Lyoto Machida expects October return, welcomes Luke Rockhold fight

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Lyoto Machida needed a pair of wins at 185 pounds to earn a shot at the UFC middleweight gold against Chris Weidman, but he won’t quit his dream just yet.

"The Dragon", who suffered a unanimous decision loss to Weidman at UFC 175 earlier this month, wants to get back in the Octagon as soon as possible.

"I would like to fight again in October," Machida told "I want to fight again before December. The sooner, the better. I will be ready to fight after Oct. 20. I don’t want to wait too much. I only need six weeks to be in shape to fight.

"They might give me two or three fights before another title shot, or something can change on the way with my performances and they give me another opportunity earlier. Anything can happen," he continued.

"It was a close fight, we both had our chances. Weidman did his strategy and won. I have a good chance at defeating Weidman, and I’m going after the title again. I think that, should I have started (pressing him) earlier, maybe in the second round, the results could have been different."

UFC has a pay-per-view card scheduled for Oct. 25 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but Machida is open to fight anywhere.

"That would be nice, but I can fight anywhere. England, Brazil, anywhere they want after (Oct. 20)," he said. "I will be ready, and my opponent better be ready because I want another chance (at the title)."

Dominant wins over Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi got Machida a title fight, and the former light heavyweight champion wants big opponents to get back to a title fight.

"Top 5, top 6. I just want to fight," he said. "I don’t know who doesn’t have a fight coming up. I would welcome a fight against a top 5."

Luke Rockhold (No. 5), C.B. Dollaway (No. 9) and Costas Philippou (No. 10) are the only top 10 middleweights without a fight scheduled at the moment, and "The Dragon" has a preference among those three 185-pounders.

"Rockhold is the best option," he said. "He’s ranked at No. 5, so he’s the best option. But I don’t have anything against him, he’s a nice guy and we’re professionals.

"He’s a former Strikeforce champion, has a good record," he continued. "We could do a great show for the fans. It would be an exciting fight. The fans and the UFC would win with a fight like that, and I hope I’ll also win [laughs]."