Elias Theodorou explains why he’s hoping to fight Lyoto Machida

Elias Theodorou

After his exciting UFC Liverpool win over Trevor Smith, which came via unanimous decision, Canadian middleweight Elias Theodorou is hoping for a fight with former UFC light heavyweight champ and long-time middleweight contender Lyoto Machida.

Theodorou explained why he’s targeting Machida in a post-fight chat with the media.

“I’ve said it before, I kind of fancy myself the poor man’s Machida,” Theodorou told the reporters on-scene in Liverpool. “I’d love to take on the real one.”

While Machida, who currently holds the number-nine spot in the UFC rankings, would represent a significant step up in competition for Theodorou, the Canadian feels it’s an opportunity he’s earned. He is, after all, a member of the UFC middleweight top-15 himself.

“Sure, it’s a step up, but obviously you want to go up, not down,” Theodorou said. “It’s a case of, essentially, if you train hard enough, if you compete long enough, and your idols eventually become your competition. He fought [Eryk Anders], someone that was not ranked, two fights ago, so it makes sense for him to fight somebody that’s at least ranked.”

Machida, of course, has recently been calling for a fight with fellow legend Michael Bisping. Now that Bisping is retired, however, Theodorou believes he’s the man for the job when it comes to Machida’s next dance partner.

“He’s calling out Bisping,” Theodorou said. “Bisping’s a mate of mine, he called him out. I only want to have a beer with Bisping, so I’m happy to take his spot.”

With his victory over Smith, Elias Theodorou improved to a fantastic 15-2 overall, with his only losses coming by decision opposite top-15 foes in Thiago Santos and Brad Tavares.

Does a fight between Elias Theodorou and Lyoto Machida interest you? Join the conversation in the comments section below!

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/30/2018.