Lyoto Machida Didn’t Want His Middleweight Debut Against Tim Kennedy
Former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, will be making his debut at middleweight November 6. Set to welcome him to the 185 lb. division is Tim Kennedy. While it’s certainly a tough fight, Machida says Kennedy is not his first choice.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Lyoto Machida has decided to drop to middleweight for his next fight, a headline match-up against Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight For the Troops on November 6.
Machida, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, went 11-4 during his UFC light heavyweight career. While the opportunity to join BJ Penn and Randy Couture as one of the few fighters able to win a UFC belt in two weight divisions, Machida must first see how he performs at 185 lbs.
“It’s my first fight at this weight class,” he told MMAFighting.com. “I didn’t cut down to 185 pounds yet, but I believe it won’t be too hard because of my body structure. I guess I’ll just cut down for the weigh-in. It’s hard to train when you focus on cutting weight. But who knows, maybe I’ll try the cut two months before the fight to see how my body will react in training.
“It’s a big opportunity, something I have in mind, for sure,” Machida continued, discussing the possibility of a second UFC title. “Let’s see who I will fight at middleweight first and then take one step at a time. It’s my debut, I don’t know how I will feel there yet.”
Machida is making the drop following a decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163. Many found the decision controversial, including Machida.
“I will get there with the objective of being more aggressive. At UFC 163, I wasn’t 100%, my foot was a little hurt, so that took some of my confidence. Phil is a great fighter, with good takedowns. Tim looks to be a big and heavy guy too. I’m used to train[ing] with heavier and stronger guys, so we’ll see how it goes.”
With Kennedy, Machida sees a tough fight, even though he would have preferred to fight another opponent.
“Tim Kennedy is a tough guy, but I wanted to fight [Vitor] Belfort of Chael Sonnen next. But sometimes you can’t choose. The UFC asked me to take this fight, and I’m in.
“Fighting Belfort in Brazil would be a good option for me. He has his fans, I have mine, and it would be a great fight. But they decided not to do it. And Sonnen always has something to say, and he wanted to fight at light heavyweight, so maybe that would be a good opportunity to fight him too. He said he wanted to fight me in a parking lot, so I tried to make that fight, but the UFC chose Kennedy. Who knows? Maybe I’ll fight [Sonnen] in the near future.”
Whatever lies ahead for Machida at 185 lbs., he will first have to take on decorated U.S. Army veteran, Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight For The Troops 3 at Fort Campbell on November 6. The card will air live on FOX Sports 1.