When Lyoto Machida knocked out Mark Munoz with a booming head kick (watch full fight video highlights here) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 30 last night (Sat., Oct. 26, 2013) at Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England, in his Middleweight debut, it opened up the door to fresh opportunities.
Namely, a shot at the 185-pound title.
He's certainly "in the mix," as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is so fond of saying, but the calendar is filled out for the remainder of the year. So what's Machida thinking for his next fight?
Here's what he told Gareth Davies on the post-fight show:
"I don't know, it's very hard to say, but I for sure want to be champion. I want the belt, but I don't know. I'll just (leave it) in Dana White's hands. ... Even if he asks me to fight at 205 pounds, I can do that."
What a sickeningly safe and standard reply, right?
There is good news, though.
Indeed, when Davies pressed and asked if that meant fighting the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 later this year, after a brief moment of hesitation Machida replied in the affirmative:
"Yes. If it's for the belt, I said I want the belt. I have to chase the belt."
Yes, Maniacs, that means an Anderson Silva vs. Lyoto Machida match up is possible, providing the chips fall in all the right places. Even though "The Spider" -- as recently as this month -- reiterated that he would "retire" before taking on his long-time friend and training partner.
Perhaps fighting friends -- like Machida did last night against Munoz -- isn't so bad for personal business after all. Either way, at the very least "The Dragon" is now open to the idea whereas before he, and Silva, dismissed it outright.
Unless something was lost in translation, the Middleweight division just much more interesting, no?