Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, returned to the Octagon last weekend after a two-year drug-test suspension, only to get smoked by middleweight bruiser Derek Brunson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 119 on FOX Sports 1 in Brazil.
See it again here.
The 39-year-old Brazilian has now dropped three straight fights in which he was violently finished in each defeat. That left him — as well as the rest of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community — wondering about his fighting future.
Machida (22-8) opens up through his official Instagram account:
I would like to thank all the support I've received from my fans! I'm home, with my family, recovering from a result that didn't come, but with a sense of achievement, since anyone could have given up the idea of returning to the battlefield after almost two years away from the sports. My biggest loss would be giving up the dream that once was my blessing. An even bigger loss would be inspiring you not to go ahead when all you need to do is to keep your head up and go on. Thus, I thank you all for the messages full of affection and strength. Saying that the Dragon is back and then giving up will never be an option! The day I decided I wouldn't stop fighting, I wanted to show you that, regardless of all the hardship of life, you are either a fighter or a quitter. What defines a man in his essence is not losing or winning, but his journey for what he believes. Once more, thank you for being by my side. I will always count on your support, and know that I will be supporting you back.
The loss left Machida at No. 13 in the official UFC rankings (see them here).
Unfortunately for “The Dragon,” there’s really no place left to go. His old stomping grounds at 205 pounds is now loaded with power-punchers and top-ranked wrestlers, while the middleweight field (see it) has already chewed him up and spit him out.
Any suggestions on how to match him up for his 2018 return?