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UFC 133: Was turning down a Rashad Evans rematch the 'right' choice for Lyoto Machida?

UFC 133: "Evans vs. Ortiz," featuring a reworked main event (and 2007 rematch) between former light heavyweight champions Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz, is all set to go down from the Wells Fargo Arena on August 6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

And that has the mixed martial arts community buzzing.

Everyone's talking about the resurrection of Tito Ortiz, who resuscitated his career with an upset win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132 back on July 2. Can "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" continue his comeback campaign and re-insert himself back into the 205-pound title hunt?

Everyone's also talking about Rashad Evans, who has suffered through a year of injuries, missed opponents and drama at Jackson's MMA. Can "Suga" dominate in Philly and cement his status as division number one contender?

No one is talking about Lyoto Machida.

At least not anymore. That's because "The Dragon," who initially agreed to replace the injured Phil Davis in the headlining bout of next month's pay-per-view, rescinded a short time later and demanded "Anderson Silva" money to participate on short notice.

Now, he's lost the opportunity to leapfrog his way back into a future title fight, falling by the wayside to Evans and Ortiz, two opponents he already holds victories over.

But which is more detrimental to Machida's career? A short-notice loss to Evans on Aug. 6, or no fight at all? Is a defeat more damaging to a fighter's divisional standing than being on the proverbial "shit-list" with their boss?

The big question for "The Dragon" is how you match him up following the UFC 133 shake-up. Should we expect to see him toiling away in the middle of the pack against durable veterans like Vladimir Matyushenko? Or will he rot on the sidelines until the UFC needs to plug a few holes?

That, dear reader, is where you come in.

The Machida camp told reporters the fight was "too soon" and that it would be "unprofessional" to participate and not be fully prepared. The Zuffa camp says the Brazilians held them hostage for a major payday and beat feet when the UFC refused.

Maybe it was both, but the bottom line is Lyoto Machida is not fighting at UFC 133. Was turning down the Evans rematch the "right" choice?

Vote in our poll and let's hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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