Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White said prior to UFC 157 that Dan Henderson would earn a light heavyweight title shot with a win over Lyoto Machida in the co-main event at the Honda Center, but with Machida's split decision victory, it seems "The Dragon" has slipped in to the No. 1 contenders spot.
Despite delivering a less than thrilling effort against "Hendo," the Brazilian got the job done at the Honda Center, earning the nod on two of the three judge's scorecards for his third win in his past four fights.
Even though there was a lot weighing around the result of the fight, neither man went for broke inside the cage, which came as a serious letdown to the UFC boss.
"Oh, it was a spectacular fight, tons of action! Action-packed from bell-to-bell," White sarcastically told Ariel Helwani on the UFC 157 post-fight show on FUEL TV. "C'mon! The fight didn't live up to the hype. Neither one of them did anything the last three minutes of the third round."
Henderson was visibly upset by the decision, and despite the former Pride and Strikeforce champion's protests, White said he scored the fight for Machida and Henderson doesn't have anything to complain about because he never went for broke.
"You now, Dan stomping around like he won the fight," he said. "I gave it to Machida, but it depends on how you score that first round. I don't think any guy did anything spectacular in any round."
It may not have been the fight everyone was hoping for, but Machida got his hand raised against an extremely dangerous opponent and regardless of the negative feedback, Machida is going to get his chance at becoming the UFC's 205-pound champion for the second time.
"There is no doubt that Machida is the number one contender - he just beat Dan Henderson, who was the number one contender," White explained. "He won. Listen, Dan Henderson is a tough guy. Durable guy. He did land some good shots, but Machida pulled out the split decision win."
While White's word sounds good now, it's hard to forget that Machida was promised a title shot that never came to fruition after he knocked out Ryan Bader with one punch at UFC on FOX 4 in August 2012.
If he does indeed get the next shot, the 34-year-old will take on the winner of Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen, who face off in the main event of UFC 159 on April 27, 2013.
Machida has already fought Jones once before, losing by second round submission back at UFC 140 in Dec. 2011. Although he lost, the Brazilian had his high points against the dominant champion, arguable winning the first round and landing cleaner strikes than anyone who has faced "Bones."
As for Sonnen, a match up with Machida would be a long time coming. "The American Gangster" has trashed the Karate specialist in the media for several years, and a fight between them would settle not just a personal score, but one between Sonnen and the Blackhouse camp, where Machida trains alongside middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
It is unknown at this time where or when Machida's title shot will take place, but it will likely be at in the second of 2013, barring are major injuries to Machida, Jones or Sonnen.
If you missed any of the UFC 157 action, be sure to hit up MMAmania.com's blow-by-blow coverage of the night's main card by clicking here.