UFC News: Lyoto Machida Says Ryan Bader Was His Next Opponent

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2011

Since his knockout victory over Randy Couture at UFC 129, Lyoto Machida has remained in limbo regarding his next opponent.

Due to the light heavyweight division being congested with scheduled bouts at the moment, Machida, who is one of the top light heavyweights, appears to be the odd man out.

Machida conducted an interview with O Globo (courtesy of FightoftheNight.com) and discussed the possibility of facing UFC prospect Ryan Bader.

"They wanted to put me with Ryan Bader but he lost to Tito Ortiz last weekend so, so far I have no opponent," Machida said.

A bout that was presumed to be Ortiz's last appearance in the UFC turned out to be one of the most shocking upsets of the year, as he submitted Bader in the first round at UFC 132. The win has kept Ortiz in the UFC for the time being while it gave Bader his second loss in a row.

The victory for Ortiz leaves the option for Machida to face him for a second time. Machida and Ortiz squared off at UFC 84 in 2008 that saw "The Dragon" easily pick apart his opponent en route to a unanimous decision. Plus, Ortiz doesn't necessarily fit the relevant role Machida looks to capitalize on in order to contend for the UFC light heavyweight title, but Machida would consider a rematch with "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy."

“If it is a really interesting thing, it can happen," he said. "Not ‘financially interesting,’ but interesting in the sense of, if it would move me forward, closer to the title. Then I would surely take that fight.”

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