UFC 140: Does Lyoto Machida Really Deserve a Title Shot vs. Jon Jones?

Antwyn JacksonContributor IIOctober 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida celebrates his victory over UFC Light Heavyweight challenger Mauricio Rua (not pictured) in their title fight at UFC 104 at Staples Center on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Machida retained his title by way of unanimous decision.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

We all know the light heavyweight division is very talented, yet very muddy with the contenders within the division.  Everyone is aiming to climb the ladder to get to Jon "Bones" Jones, the UFC's reigning, defending champion.  The issue that seems to be coming up is that there's no clear road to a title shot in the division.

Imagine this.  You are 1-2 in your last three fights.  You lost one via a brutal knockout in the first round and another to a split decision.  The one fight you did win was against a 48-year-old man.  After this, not only are you not cut, but you get a title shot.

That's life for Lyoto Machida.

I'm sure I know what you're saying.  "You think Machida should be cut?"  No, of course not.  However, I'm just not sure if he should get a shot based on his last few fights.  In most cases, the challenger to a title comes into the fight hot, on a win streak.  In this fight Machida comes in with the momentum of a tortoise.  

Machida was just chosen out of default.  UFC wants Jones to fight again, but everyone is either hurt or scheduled to fight already.  Jones can't fight Dan Henderson because he's fighting Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, whom Jones beat for the belt.  Jones can't fight Thiago Silva because he's on suspension.  Jones also can't fight fellow phenom Phil Davis because of Davis' knee problems.  

The only solution was either Machida or wait for Rashad Evans' thumb to heal.  

Had the decision been left to the majority of people, they probably would've talked to Evans to see how long it would take for a 100 percent recovery of the thumb and hopefully just wait until then instead of giving an undeserving title shot.  

Let me know your thoughts.