You know the saying, folks: Don't cross the boss.
Needless to say, this didn't sit well with White, who found another light heavyweight contender to do his bidding.
There's been a general feeling of unease when Machida's name has come up since then, to the point that "The Dragon" believes he may be getting punished for his request.
"It's hard to say that it exists (a punishment by the UFC). Maybe so, maybe not, perhaps they're keeping me on the sidelines, but I don't believe that. I met with Lorenzo Fertitta in Rio and he talked to me, he said what happened was in the past, for me not to worry. But I find myself in a difficult situation, a complicated one, I don't know if he said that but would act in a different way, or if they're waiting to make a fight. I am waiting, I want to concentrate in my work and accomplish it with proper time."
He later sent out a tweet stating he won't be back inside the Octagon until sometime next year. This is curious because it's been reported that a main event for UFC 140 will be announced in the next week or so.
We know who it won't be.
But why is that? Is "The Dragon" really being punished simply because he wanted monetary compensation on the level of the pound-for-pound best in the world (at least in the eyes of White)? The UFC President responded to such claims just days ago (via MMANation):
"There's just nobody for Machida to fight right now. Everybody thinks that I hate Machida now because of that whole 'Anderson Silva money' thing, but the position that Machida's in right now is like what happened with Rashad. Rashad turned down a fight and said, 'I'm going to wait for Shogun.' He's waiting for this guy who blew his knee out to get better and then people start getting hurt left and right and now he's out almost a year and a half. I don't hate Machida. Things happen, we butt heads all the time with different guys and stupid stuff is said by them and me and everything else but I don't hate anybody. And I definitely don't hate Machida, I think he's a nice guy. Do I think it was a stupid move what he did with the whole 'Anderson Silva money?' Yeah. Look what's happening, he's sitting out and waiting to fight."
Machida's restlessness is surely contributing to his suspicion but we more or less have to take White at his word.
Recent rumors placed the Karate master in a bout against rising contender Phil Davis, with White going so far as to announce as much. He quickly retracted, however, once he learned that "Mr. Wonderful" is still suffering from injuries.
And if Davis isn't available, who else is left that deserves to square off with Machida? Anyone?
It certainly doesn't look that way but is that simply a smokescreen? Is White actually punishing Machida for leaving him in the lurch for the UFC 133 main event?