Machida won a 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 split decision over Dan Henderson last Saturday
UFC president Dana White confirmed during the UFC 157 post-fight press conference that Machida will earn the next title shot against the winner of Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen.
“He just beat the number one contender, which would make him the number one contender,” said White. “Dan Henderson is one of the toughest guys in the sport. You don’t knock Dan Henderson out. Lyoto took some big shots from Dan. Dan took some big shots from Lyoto. It wasn’t a barnburner. It wasn’t the most exciting fight you’ve ever seen. You won’t be writing stories about this fight until the end of time, but Lyoto won the fight. He beat the number one contender. He beat Dan Henderson.”
Jones and Sonnen will square off at UFC 159 on April 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., with the light heavyweight title on the line.
Prior to the Machida/Henderson bout, White said that the winner would be the number one contender. But that fight was less than epic and some thought that would open up the door for the winner of Alexander Gustafsson and former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi, slated for April 6.
Machida lost to Jones on Dec. 11, 2011 via guillotine choke.