When Lyoto Machida defeated Dan Henderson at UFC 157, that victory, in theory, set him up for a shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. That theory may be getting put to the test.
I say in theory because the Machida versus Henderson scrap was not what anyone would call memorable. In fact, at the UFC 157 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White described the last two rounds of the three-round fight as “The second round was eh, and the third round neither one of them did anything in the last three-and-a-half minutes.”
White later elaborated on the fight, which heard boos from the crowd: “It wasn’t a barnburner, it wasn’t the most exciting fight you ever seen, you won’t be writing stories about it until the end of time, but Lyoto won the fight. He beat the No. 1 contender.”
Following UFC 160, White was asked about the potential Jones versus Machida matchup in the wake of a Twitter exchange between Jones and highly ranked light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson:
Fighting me is not good for your image@alexthemauler FYI— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 24, 2013
Which fight do you want to see?
When asked if he though that perhaps Jones and Gustafsson were trying to make their own fight, White replied, “Maybe,” before adding that both fighters have said in the past that they wanted to fight each other.
White did not rule out the possibility of Gustafsson getting the shot at Jones’ title: “The problem is that nobody is clamoring, saying ‘Oh, I gotta see Machida fight him.’ Jones finished him [Machida] so easily. That’s the problem with that fight. Also, Machida didn’t make a statement in his last fight, like T.J. [Grant] did tonight. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.”
*All quotes obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report MMA unless otherwise noted.