Third time is the charm?
The two split their first two encounters, with Machida defending his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion against Rua at UFC 104 in 2009 via a controversial unanimous decision. However, after five rounds of action, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans across the globe thought that Rua had done enough to earn the nod, but the judges saw it differently, giving the win to Machida.
Even UFC President Dana White was seen telling Rua after the decision was read that he thought he had won the fight. Though White doesn't have the power to overturn the call, he -- along with matchmaker Joe Silva -- have all the power to try and make it right. Taking advantage of said power, White booked an immediate rematch to go down seven months later in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
This time, "Shogun" made sure to leave the judges out of it, blitzing through "The Dragon" via first round knockout, earning the 205-pound title in the process at UFC 113: "Machida vs. Shogun 2."
Now, the former champion says the he wouldn't mind completing the trilogy against his Brazilian counterpart, seeing as how both of their dance cards are currently empty. He also wouldn't mind doing it after coaching opposite his adversary on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Check out what he told Portal Do Vale Tudo after the jump:
"Of course it is my great desire to do a TUF, which is a program where people see everything that passes the fighter. Lyoto would make it even more interesting, is a top category, and consider how good this third fight, will sell a lot. Actually it was suggested that the UFC Rampage, who accepted, but had to operate the knees. So do not want to ask anyone, I fight anyone. I want that belt back, so I cannot choose opponent. But surely it would be great to face Lyoto. I'm waiting for the definition of the UFC, who promised that I would fight in June or July."
The UFC made history this year, launching its first-ever international version of the popular reality television show with TUF: "Brazil," with Brazilian brawlers Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort serving as coaches.
Now that the proposed rematch with Quinton Jackson and Rua is all but shelved because of "Rampage" announcing that he is set to go under the knife to repair his busted knees, a third fight between the two Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts is not that farfetched.
But, is it something the fans want to see? If not, who then should Machida and Rua face their next time out inside the Octagon?