With his good friend and training partner, Anderson Silva, no longer ruling the 185-pound roost thanks to Chris Weidman, and "The Dragon" winning just half of his most recent Octagon appearances -- and a rematch against Phil Davis not appealing to anyone (details here) -- timing certainly couldn't be more ideal.
So how about a Brazilian showdown against Vitor Belfort?
That's the high-profile mixed martial arts (MMA) match that was floated on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" this evening, one that company president Dana White, according to Ariel Helwani, apparently would "love" to plug-in as the co-main event of UFC 167, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 16, 2013.
There might just be one problem: White wants the bout at 185 pounds, a weight that Machida has never competed at during his Octagon tenure and one that Belfort refuses to revisit unless it's for a championship opportunity.
Indeed, Belfort has recently gotten in White's "nerves" with his demands, turning down a Middleweight main event against Tim Kennedy and then attempting to book his own catchweight clash against UFC Fight Night 26 headliner, Chael Sonnen (who, for what it's worth, accepted the unofficial challenge on the spot).
That's because "The Phenom" is adamant that he is the rightful No. 1 Middleweight contender behind Silva because of three consecutive (technical) knockout wins over Yoshihiro Akiyama, Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold in the division.
Would he change his tune to co-headline the promotion's blockbuster 20th Anniversary pay-per-view (PPV) event, which features Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defending his division title against top 170-pound contender Johny Hendricks in the featured fight of the night?
Time will tell. The report indicated that both sides are open to the bout, but the 20-pound difference could possibly be a deal breaker ... especially when it comes to Belfort, who White recently described as "out of his mind." And let's remember that Belfort faces an uphill battle getting re-licensed in "Sin City" with a Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) because he got popped way back when.
For more on UFC 167: "St. Pierre vs. Hendricks" be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.