Former Ultimate Fighting Championship Light Heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, hopes to reinvent himself at middleweight this November against Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight for the Troops 3. After losing a close decision to Phil Davis at UFC 163, Machida's future at 205 was put into question.
He earned a title shot last summer by knocking out Ryan Bader at UFC on Fox 4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately, when he was unwilling to fight Jon Jones at UFC 152, his shot went to Vitor Belfort who was willing to step up on short notice.
He picked up a split decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 157, and it was believed that had Machida walked away from UFC 163 victorious, he would be next in line for a title shot. The loss to Davis has forced Machida to reevaluate his career and test the waters at middleweight.
Machida spoke with MMAFighting's Guilherme Cruz about the bout with Kennedy
"Tim Kennedy is a tough guy, but I wanted to fight (Vitor) Belfort or Chael Sonnen next," he said. "But sometimes you can't choose. The UFC asked me to take this fight, and I'm in."
"Fighting Belfort in Brazil would be a good option for me. He has his fans, I have mine, and it would be a great fight. But they decided not to do it. And Sonnen always has something to say, and he wanted to fight at light heavyweight, so maybe that would be a good opportunity to fight him too. He said he wanted to fight me in a parking lot, so I tried to make that fight, but the UFC chose Kennedy. Who knows, maybe I'll fight (Sonnen) in the near future."
There has been a bit of heat between Vitor Belfort and Machida. They've exchanged words in the media, a rarity for Brazilian fighters. However, it is Belfort's unwillingness to fight at middleweight that Machida finds himself fighting Kennedy at UFC Fight for the Troops 3.
It should be noted that Belfort believes he is in line for a title shot at middleweight and is unwilling to fight at 185 unless there is a title on the line.
Machida and Kennedy are the main event for the November fight card.