Lyoto Machida: Would "The Dragon" Drop to 185 If Anderson Silva Got Dethroned?

Dustin FilloyFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2013

August 4, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lyoto Machida during UFC on FOX at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Akin to the galvanizing bond that exists between Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez, Blackhouse MMA teammates Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva have expressed no desire to lock horns in a middleweight superfight.

Although seemingly still in the prime of his career, the soon-to-be 38-year-old Silva simply can't reign supreme over the middleweight division eternally.

When "The Spider" finally retires or gets dethroned, svelte former light heavyweight champion Machida might entertain the notion of dropping a weight class. Truth be told, "The Dragon" only tipped the scales at 202 pounds before scoring a split decision win over former No. 1 contender Dan Henderson at UFC 157.

At 6'1" and sporting a 74-inch reach, Machida wouldn't physically represent the middleweight division's alpha dog. But instead of fighting guys the ilk of Jon Jones and Quinton Jackson, The Dragon would be pitted against physical equals at 185.

For now, though, it seems unlikely that a descent to middleweight is in the cards for Machida. In fact, after his pivotal victory over Henderson, The Dragon clarified details regarding his future by saying this through a translator at the UFC 157 post-fight press conference: "Now with this opportunity, I want to stay at 205. I want to fight for the belt."

If he happens to garner the next title shot at 205, Machida might receive the oddsmakers' blessings as the favorite to best challenger Chael Sonnen, but he'll certainly be deemed a significant underdog for the second time against Jones.

Aside from Vitor Belfort's attempted armbar at UFC 152, a few thumping combinations landed by Machida at UFC 140 represent the only genuine scares Jones has experienced in his 18-fight career.

Plus, having to cut 17 pounds seems like an elementary task for a fighter like Machida, who adheres to such strict codes of preparation.

When The Spider finally bows out of the top spot at middleweight, Machida could slide in and take his spot, especially if he drops his third straight light heavyweight title fight. After all, it's a downright tantalizing thought to picture Machida squaring off the likes of Chris Weidman or Luke Rockhold.