Inside Fights is reporting that Randy Couture is interested in a fight with Lyoto Machida. This information has been corroborated through several sources inside the Xtreme Couture camp. If this fight were put together, is would almost certainly take place at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany.
Couture has said his main motivation in continuing to fight is the desire for a personal challenge. It appears that the prospect of facing someone as tricky as Machida fascinates Couture; he sees this as the next challenge in his storied career.
This comes as a surprise to many who thought it was a foregone conclusion Couture would face former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The winner would have likely been the front-runner for a title shot between the winner of Brock Lesnar-Frank Mir, who fight at UFC 98 in Las Vegas.
A potential Couture-Machida fight will hinge on what happens at UFC 96 between Rampage Jackson and Keith Jardine. If Jackson wins, as most expect, he would be granted the title shot against Rashad Evans at UFC 100. If Jardine were to pull the upset, Machida would be tapped to take Jackson's place.
So, it seems the fate of Couture's desire rests on Rampage Jackson's success. Ultimately, it would hinge on Dana White and Joe Silva's desire to make such a fight happen. If history tells us anything, it's that Randy Couture usually gets the fights he wants.
Even more interesting, if Couture were able to figure out Machida and give the elusive Brazilian his first loss, he would seemingly be in line for a title shot against the winner of Jackson vs. Evans.
While a lot of hardcore MMA fans may be opposed to Couture getting a crack at Machida, if he was the man to give Machida his first loss, it would further cement his status as the underdog who wins and the greatest MMA game planner of all time.
At this point, the idea of a "Couture vs. Machida" fight is purely speculation, based on the desires of Couture. However, if Rampage wins, and Machida needs an opponent, don't be surprised to see Couture insert himself into the equation one more time.