Photo from Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Lost in the shuffle of the UFC announcing the main event for its network debut on FOX on Nov. 12 in Anaheim is lonely former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
"The Dragon" was last seen inside the Octagon doing his best Karate Kid impression by knocking out Randy Couture with a crane kick to the face back on April 30 at UFC 129 in front of the largest audience in the promotion's history.
Then he was quiet for a few months before his highly publicized issues with UFC President Dana White thanks to his refusal to step in on short notice to fight Rashad Evans at UFC 133 unless he was paid "Anderson Silva money."
That led to some bad PR but by all accounts, his relationship with the company is as good as its ever been.
However, it's now been a full four months since his last bout and he still doesn't have a fight booked. In a recent interview with Tatame, Machida says he "guesses" he'll be back by November or December but doesn't know against who.
"There's nothing set so far, I'm just waiting. I guess I'll fight later in November or in December, even so I could have time to get ready, but the guys (from UFC) haven't mentioned anything. People have been talking a lot, but nobody from UFC talked to me, so..."
The recent announcement of the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos bout getting moved from the UFC 139 pay-per-view event on Nov. 19 to the UFC on FOX show on Nov. 12 could be a blessing in disguise for Machida.
That's because UFC 139 is now without a main event and there appear to be few options to occupy the open slot.
The Brazilian Karate king is a proven draw as a headliner and there are a couple interesting match-ups available to him, such as an already rumored bout against Phil Davis, a trilogy bout against Mauricio Rua or even an intriguing battle against Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson ... if he signs with UFC fast enough.
That's speculation, of course, but after all these months and nary a hint at what the plan is for Machida, desperation is surely setting in. We've done an insane amount of fantasy booking around here the past few days, why not one more.
Fill in the blanks, Maniacs: Lyoto Machida's next fight should be against ____ at ___ on ____.