Lyoto Machida: Daniel Cormier needs to 'earn' UFC light heavyweight title shot

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

No front ditches allowed! Lyoto Machida informs Daniel Cormier that he will have to earn a 205-pound title shot like rest of the UFC light heavyweight division.

If Daniel Cormier defeats Roy Nelson at UFC 166, which takes place at Toyota Center in Houston,Texas, on Oct. 19, 2013, "DC" is already planning a move down to the Light Heavyweight division to challenge division kingpin Jon Jones.

And he wants to cut in front of all the other contenders to get his shot at the gold.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White revealed months back that should the former Olympian decide to cut down from Heavyweight, he could get an immediate 205-pound title shot. But, within that time, the division has been keeping busy, with plenty of contenders rising up the ranks.

Among them are Glover Teixeira, Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida, who feels that if the Strikeforce import wants a shot at "Bones," he has to win a fight in the division first because there's a pecking order that needs to be followed.

"The Dragon" shared his opinion during today's (July 25, 2013) UFC 163 media conference call (full recap here):

"I believe there's a ranking and it should be followed. There's Glover Teixeira, Phil Davis. If Daniel Cormier moves down to 205, he should earn a couple wins. I don't believe he should cut in line. He should earn the title shot."

Machida was on the fast track to another championship fight himself; however, White and Co. didn't feel his lackluster victory over Dan Henderson at UFC 157 was good enough to warrant a rematch against Jones. Instead, Alexander Gustafsson was awarded the opportunity, challenging "Bones" at UFC 165 on Sept. 21, 2013.

The good news, at least for Machida, is that he will have the opportunity to prove that he deserves another opportunity when he takes on Phil Davis in the co-main event of UFC 163, which takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 3, 2013.

A loss, however, will send him to the back of a very long and competitive line. In fact, anything short of a "Wonderful" finish might keep him hovering in No. 1A contender limbo.

Regardless, Machida does raise a very good point, considering Cormier has yet to win a fight at light heavyweight. But, a long standing beef with Jones, a Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix title and (possibly) an undefeated mixed martial arts (MMA) record might be too hard to resist.

Unless, of course, Nelson and Davis do something to flip the script first.

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