Earlier this year, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White told reporters there was "no doubt" that Lyoto Machida was the light heavyweight number one contender after defeating Dan Henderson at UFC 157 and that "The Dragon" would receive the next title shot after Jon Jones defended his belt against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159.
See those comments here.
Then again, he also said the same exact thing right after Machida pasted Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 last August (read it). So why can't the Brazilian cash in on those two promises? Probably because Jones has no interest in fighting him again.
Jones said it after the Bader fight (here) and he said it again after UFC 157.
"I said that we will give the fight to Lyoto Machida," White told MMA Fighting. "But, Jon Jones was like, 'I annihilated Machida, I already fought Machida, I annihilated him, and I've never fought Gustafsson -- me and Gustafsson have some beef and that's the fight I really want.'"
In his defense, Jones finished Machida by way of second-round submission in the main event of UFC 140 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, back on Dec. 10, 2011. That's the same place he'll put his gold up for grabs against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in September.
Champs picking their opponents?
That was a precedent set by Georges St. Pierre early last year. While Johny Hendricks had blasted his way to the top of the 170-pound mountain, "Rush" opted to first settle his differences with Nick Diaz, despite the fact that the Stockton slugger was coming off a loss, as well as a drug suspension.
At least "The Mauler" has a credible resume and an argument for being the division's top dog.
Not that it matters. Jones wanted to fight him and now will, and there was apparently nothing Dana White or Lyoto Machida could say to change his mind. And as we all know from the UFC 151 debacle, once "Bones" puts his foot down, its stays down.