"I was originally approached with a couple other fighters and they weren't ones that I was really interested in competing against. It doesn't matter (who they were). And then I was approached about Lyoto and I said yes right away. I think the UFC came back the next day and said, 'Well, we don't know if that's a great idea. He's coming off two losses.' To Lyoto's credit, he pushed for the fight. So then a couple more weeks down the road, I think after Lyoto and his camp got involved, they wanted the fight, the UFC came back to me and said, 'Hey, Lyoto wants this fight too. We're going to make it happen. You want to do it?' And I was like, 'Yeah. I've wanted this fight for a couple years. This is a fight I'm motivated for and excited about.'
"Yeah, I think it's an interesting style match-up, that's one of the reasons I've been so excited about it. He is kind of this enigma that nobody's really untangled or figured out and that's the kind of intriguing fight that I like.
"I think he presents a lot of the same challenges to me that he has everybody else. He's hard to get a handle on. He's very elusive, he's got great footwork, has a very upright, unique style, has the ability to lure guys in and get them to chase him and then he changes directions and explodes and catches you with that straight left hand. Obviously, he's taken some pretty significant fighters out in the last couple years. I think nobody's been able to really nail him down, to get their hands on him, to use the cage effectively, to put him on the ground for any length of time and those are all things that I usually try to do in my fights. I think getting him on the ground and either damaging him or finding a way to submit him is definitely the goal.
"Everybody made such a big deal about my tweet (about my possible retirement), I think because I put it in black and white, but there's nothing different from what I've been saying since the James Toney fight. You know, I'm coming to the end of it, realisitically. I'm enjoying the transition to making more movies. There are a few very interesting fights out there for me but realisitically, at 47, the end is in sight. When that's going to be, I don't know. I'm taking them one at a time. I been doing that for 13 years now.
"I'm not going to say it's the end, I'm not going to make any official announcements. It doesn't make sense to do that because they'll throw something at me that's intriguing and interesting to me and then I'll be right back in there and then I WILL be the Brett Favre of MMA. I did it once, I don't think anybody's going to buy it the second time, anyway. I think when I'm done, when I'm done fighting, I'll just fade away.
"Shogun is another guy, obviously, that I'm very interested in competing against. I watched him all through his days in PRIDE. He's an amazing fighter and to see him come into his own now and kind of be the first guy to solve the rubics cube that has kind of been Lyoto Machida.
"(If I beat Machida and get a title shot) that's just the icing on the cake. It's more about the individuals and the fights. The title is certainly nice but I've done that and that's not what it's really about for me at this point. If that happens, it happens, but if it doesn't, that's okay, too."