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Midnight Mania! Lyoto Machida targeting UFC return, ‘Shogun’ Rua trilogy in Brazil

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UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

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The last few years haven’t been kind to Lyoto Machida. The 44-year-old former UFC champion has lost his last four bouts, but it’s not necessarily all bad. He took both Gegard Mousasi and Phil Davis to split-decisions, so it’s not as if “The Dragon” is just getting crushed outright.

Recently, Machida became a free agent after fighting out his Bellator contract. At one point, there were rumors that Machida was in talks with Karate Combat, but now it sounds like Machida may go in a different and unexpected direction: back to the UFC? Generally, the promotion is not in the business of paying up for aging former champions, especially since the dawn of “Contender Series.” However, Machida’s manager, Jorge Guimaraes, has revealed there is interest in at least one match up.

When I heard ‘Shogun was doing his last fight at UFC Rio, I immediately called (UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell) offering Lyoto for a trilogy,” Guimaraes told Sherdog. “Hunter told me they initially were planning on someone like Tyson Pedro to fight Shogun, but he liked the idea and told me he was going to talk to Dana [White] about it.

“I have no doubt the Brazilian audience would love that match up. Two champions, two legends of the sport, one win for each, doing their rubber match on the night of both of their retirement fights. Shogun is already a Hall of Famer, Lyoto also deserves that.”

If true, this match up would make a lot of sense. Machida and Rua are beloved ex-champions, especially in Brazil, and the two are technically even at one victory a piece (decade old controversy aside). It would be a tremendous and appropriate retirement fight for each man, though if Machida doesn’t want to hang up the gloves just yet, perhaps a one-off contract could be achieved.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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