Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida and his representation have found themselves in quite a predicament. UFC 84 was supposed to be his time to shine against one of the most beloved fighters of all-time in former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz.
A win under the microscope against a high profile fighter like Ortiz was supposed to expedite his career, give him some name recognition, and subsequently put him on the verge of the belt at 205 pounds.
Machida took care of business and earned a unanimous decision victory, however, he ended up polarizing a lot of fans in the process.
On one side fans will tell you they believe his counter striking, avoidance techniques, and overall pace was an effective technique and a strategy that was important to recording the victory.
On the other hand, the fans who were looking for an exciting and fast paced fight were left feeling empty and genuinely displeased.
The victory over Ortiz ran Machida's professional MMA record to 5 - 0 in the UFC and 13 - 0 overall. His notable list of victims now includes Stephan Bonnar, Rich Franklin, BJ Penn, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and the aforementioned Ortiz.
Griffin took full advantage of his opportunity and came away with a unanimous decision victory to become the new champion.
Machida's tough luck continued when Silva was forced to withdraw from UFC 89 due to a back injury. It left Machida high and dry.
About 24 hours after Silva's announcement former champion Chuck Liddell decided to throw his chin in front of Rashad Evans' overhand right and subsequently created MMA's version of the "shot heard round the world."
Shortly thereafter Evans was granted permission by the UFC management staff to cut in line and fight for the title against Griffin likely sometime in late 2008. Machida was once again overlooked.
Now all Machida can do is wait for the UFC management to tell him who his next opponent will be and when the fight will take place. A fight with Thiago Silva could still happen but it is unlikely at this point because he would have to wait a few more months for him to fully heal.
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