Lyoto Machida Accepts Fight Against Tito Ortiz

Matt ScottCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2008

A week after defeating the highly touted Rameau Sokoudjou at UFC 79, Lyoto Machida has been offered a fight with the former Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz. Machida has accepted the fight and is awaiting acceptance from Ortiz, who is expected to say yes (assuming that he is "fired" by then).

Machida has wins in the UFC thus far over David Heath, Sam Hoger, Kazuhiro Nakamura, and Rameau Sokoudjou. Outside the UFC he has wins over Stephan Bonnar, BJ Penn, and Rich Franklin.

I am not the first to say this, but this guy is for real. Assuming that Sokoudjou beats Ortiz (which will not be easy by any means), it is being tossed around that a fight against Keith Jardine or Rashad Evans is in the making for Machida. If this is the case, then his fight following one of those could be for the title.

Having shown just how talented he is, Machida could very well be our next UFC Light Heavyweight Champion (following the Griffin/Jackson fight of course). Fighting out of Black House, where UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueiro (Big Nog) also train, Machida has all the makings to be a contender. He has the apparent work ethic of a champ, as well as an unorthodox southpaw stance stemming from his karate background that will throw many fighters off their game.

The Machida/Ortiz fight has interesting makings and could easily be a "Fight of the Year" candidate, but just as easily a boring three round decision smothering. Let's just hope they come out swinging.