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Lyoto Machida: 'I'm here to stay and I would like to fight for the belt'

Lyoto Machida



"It was a very big win [against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at UFC 79]. I hope people start to recognize that I'm here to stay and I would like to fight for the belt by the end of this year.... I believe I'm ready for a title shot. If they gave that opportunity to me, I would gladly accept it. Of course [a fight with Tito Ortiz is interesting]! Tito is a legend in the sport. I would love to test my skills against his.... Tito is a very strong wrestler who has great ground and pound skills."

With four consecutive wins inside the Octagon and an unblemished mixed martial arts (MMA) record, Lyoto Machida feels that he's ready to challenge for the 205-pound belt sometime in 2008. First up, however, might be former division champion Tito Ortiz ... if he accepts the fight. Machida has reportedly already verbally agreed to the match up but Ortiz is believed to want a bigger-named opponent next.

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