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Re-enter the Dragon: Lyoto Machida open to Tito Ortiz rematch

Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida was supposed to fight Ryan Bader later this year after "Darth" got some work done on the UFC 132 pay-per-view last Saturday night (July 2) in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately no one cleared it with Tito Ortiz.

As a result, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy " threw a monkey wrench into the prospective match-up, then picked it up and bonked Bader over the head with it prior to choking him unconscious.

Not only did Ortiz resurrect his career, he may have exhumed a possible rematch against "The Dragon," who is currently high and dry after the upper echelon of light heavyweights were paired off for the remainder of the 2011 fight campaign.

Machida bested Ortiz via unanimous decision at UFC 84: "Ill Will" back in May 2008, surviving a third round armbar-triangle submission to coast to a sweep on the judge's scorecards.

And if it can "move him forward" in the division, the Brazilian tells O Globo (via Fighters Only) he would "surely take the fight" ...again.

"They wanted to put me with Ryan Bader but he lost to Tito Ortiz last weekend so, so far I have no opponent. I could have faced Rampage [again] or even Jon Jones but they will face each other next. The other opponents that I could have fought already have fights scheduled. If it is a really interesting thing, [a rematch against Ortiz] can happen. Not ‘financially interesting’ but interesting in the sense of, if it would move me forward, closer to the title. Then I would surely take that fight."

What a difference a few years makes.

When Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz first met in 2008, "The Dragon" was 12-0 and still coming out of his shell. While he strangled Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in late 2007 to notch his first finish inside the Octagon, many fans and pundits considered him "elusive," which is a nice way of saying "boring."

He went on to snatch the title from Rashad Evans at UFC 98 but surrendered it to "Shogun" Rua in 2010. He's currently on the comeback trail after giving Randy Couture dentures at UFC 129 last April.

Ortiz, at that time, was coming off his second loss to Chuck Liddell at UFC 66 prior to settling for a draw against Rashad Evans at UFC 73. No one could have predicted the loss to the Karate master would be his second in a streak of five winless bouts.

Following his redemption at UFC 132, he may have a chance to do two things: Avenge his loss to Machida and get back into the 205-pound title hunt.

Anyone think he can do it? And more importantly, does anyone want to see Machida vs. Ortiz II?

Opinions, please.

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