Lyoto Machida eyes 'big fight' against Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen or Nick Diaz next

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Ready to get back into the cage and erase the memory of his loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163, Lyoto Machida runs down a list of desired opponents. And he doesn’t care if he has to drop down to middleweight to get the "big" fight he desires.

Now that he's had a few weeks to digest his unanimous decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Lyoto Machida wants to get back into the Octagon as soon as possible.

And he doesn't want a "gimme" fight, either.

No sir, "The Dragon" wants a "big" fight next and he has a few high-profile names in mind, starting with Vitor Belfort, an opponent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White pondered throwing Machida's way as the co-main event for UFC 167.

"The Phenom," however, is apparently less than thrilled with the offer.

Next on the list is Nick Diaz, another foe the Las Vegas fight boss had in mind for "The Dragon" should he make the drop down to the Middleweight division. Machida's third option is Chael Sonnen, a man he called out immediately following "The American Gangster's" win over Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 this past weekend (Aug. 17, 2013) in Boston, Massachusetts.

And far as the former Light Heavyweight champion is concerned, he doesn't care which of those three he takes on next ... he just wants to scrap.

His words (via "The MMA Hour"):

"I just want to do a big fight, you know? Belfort is the first name on a list because he is a big name and a great opponent. I think Belfort is a perfect opponent for me. But, he hasn't accepted that fight. Then, Dana White told me about Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz is a great opponent, too, but I'm just waiting for UFC. Then, last Saturday, I saw the fight with Shogun and Sonnen and saw a great opportunity to fight Sonnen, too. Sonnen is a great name, a big name around the world and I think I can beat him. And he talk bad about me back in the day."

Getting a fight with any of those three men, however, could be harder than "The Dragon" imagines.

Sonnen (we think) is going to drop back down to middleweight, though he says wouldn't turn down a bought against Machida. But, now that Sonnen has the option to write his own ticket, he might want to move on to someone who isn't coming off a loss.

Belfort, on the other hand, is only looking for title fights at the moment. And you, Mr. Machida, have no gold around your waist.

Furthermore, White recently admitted that offering Machida a middleweight fight against Nick Diaz was a bad idea, so the chances of that fight getting booked are probably slim to none.

For his part, Machida says he will fight at 205 or 185 pounds, depending on what UFC matchmakers want him to do. But, at this rate, it looks like Machida will have to call out someone else if he wants to get back into the Octagon anytime soon.

And just for grins and giggles, "Mr. Wonderful" isn't interested in a rematch against Machida, either.

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