It appears the UFC has a solution for the logjam created light heavyweight Dan Henderson’s recent injury and Lyoto Machida’s refusal to face champion Jon Jones without a full camp to prepare. Rather than force one of the two top contenders to wait for six months before receiving a title-shot, it looks like the organization has designs on having them fight each other in a bout eliminating one from the equation.
UFC President Dana White hinted at the plan during a gathering with media at the UFC offices in Las Vegas, though nothing official has been announced at this point.
“He should have taken the fight,” said White of Machida’s decision to turn down a short notice meeting with Jones. “We’ve seen it, history always repeats itself. Look how long it took Rashad Evans to fight for the title again. So you wanted to fight Jon Jones, you climbed up to the title fight and you don’t take it.”
“Now you’re fighting (expletive) Dan Henderson,” he continued. “Now you might not even get to the (expletive) title again. You lose to Dan Henderson, you’re not anywhere near Jon Jones.”
MMAWeekly was on hand and kind enough to transcribe White’s comments.
While some fans may feel making the two tussle is unfair after having already been promised a crack at the divisional championship, in reality Machida is only a single win removed from his submission loss to Jones while Henderson hasn’t fought since November. However, both are former champions with past success against some of the sport’s elite, combining for wins over the likes of Evans, Fedor Emelianenko, Mauricio Rua, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Wanderlei Silva, Rich Franklin, and Randy Couture.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC