August 4, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lyoto Machida during UFC on FOX at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Yes, Lyoto Machida was asked to step in to fight Jon Jones at UFC 152 on Sat., Sept. 22, 2012, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when Dan Henderson went down with an injury and "Bones" refused a fight against Chael Sonnen.
Yes, he turned the fight down, putting him right back in the unenviable position of dealing with the heat from not just the media and fans but his employers.
But no, he doesn't want to do it on just a few weeks notice.
According the press release sent out through the Black House camp on Friday afternoon, Machida turned down the bout because he felt four weeks was inadequate time to prepare for a fight with the current light heavyweight champion.
"I want to serve the UFC and recapture the belt. I always respect my opponent," Machida stated. "For those reasons, I must prepare myself in the manner I believe in."
For whatever reason, the idea of moving the fight back a couple more weeks was simply unacceptable to the UFC so they went out and found someone willing to challenge Jones in just three weeks.
Even if it was Vitor Belfort, a middleweight who hasn't fought in the 205-pound division in five years.
Machida wasn't the only Brazilian to turn down the fight due to lack of prep time. Mauricio Rua did the same, reportedly for the exact same reason. He needed more time to prepare for what would be the biggest bout of his career.
It's easy to forget the magnitude of fights like this. Win and you're a hero but lose?
Square one isn't a fun place to be, folks.
Any Maniacs willing to forgive Machida for doing what's best for his career, even if it's not necessarily what's best for the UFC?