Lyoto Machida: It Was My Fighters Heart Against My Professional Mind

Amid the scramble to find a replacement for an injured Phil Davis at UFC 133, UFC turned to former champion Lyoto Machida. It seemed set at first, with Dana White confident that Machida was stepping up. But it turned out that the only way Machida was accepting the short notice bout with Rashad Evans was if UFC opened up their ever fattening wallet.

After eventually finding Tito Ortiz to fight Evans in UFC 133 main event, UFC president Dana White let it be known that Machida was asking for "Anderson Silva money." Now, speaking to, Machida reveals his take on the situation:

"UFC invited me for a bout with three weeks in advance and I said I wouldn't take it since the beginning. I wasn't prepared for it, it'd be against my own principles of professionalism, against what my family and team believe, and didn't want me to fight." Said former Light Heavyweight champion Machida.

"It was the heart of a fighter against my professional mind. I was split, because I'd be 60% prepared only. I'd risk my name and my career, which is something I've never done. Even when I lost I was in my best condition. UFC insisted and I said that I could only do it with a better proposition: a better scholarship. We live of the wins. If I lose, I'd go down on the ranking. I demanded more money to cover my risks and have a guarantee of recovery. Aside from the expenses of bringing all my crew, training on the United States on these 20 days, which demands a lot of money. I can't get there and earn the same salary, it'd be different."

Time will tell if Machida made the right choice, if Tito Ortiz manages the upset win come August 6, Machida's proffesional mind could be looking on and regretting the opportunity his fighters heart missed.


Published by Lee Rabey - Sat, 16 Jul 2011 22:04

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