Last night, in the main event of the UFC’s stop in Belem, Brazil, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida staved off Father Time with a sorely needed split decision win over young middleweight prospect Eryk Anders. With this win, Machida rebounded from a string of stoppage losses and kept himself afloat in the shark infested waters of the middleweight division.
While Machida is now back in the win column, calls for his retirement have not exactly quieted. That said, the Brazilian legend still has a few more things he’d like to accomplish before he hangs up the gloves. One of these things is a fight with former UFC middleweight champion and fellow MMA veteran Michael Bisping.
Machida elaborated on his interest in this fight at the UFC Belem post-fight press conference.
“That’s a fight that should’ve happened a couple times and it didn’t,” Machida said (h/t MMAFighting.com). “I think we both matured together in this sport, so I think fight between Michael Bisping and myself would mean a lot.
“He might retire sometime soon, I could retire sometime soon, and people asked for that fight, so it’s a fight that interests me.”
While Bisping is Machida’s preferred opponent, he also admitted he’d consider fighting another legend in Vitor Belfort – though he’d prefer not to fight a fellow Brazilian.
“If I had a choice, I’d rather not fight someone from Brazil, but as a professional, I couldn’t say no,” Machida said. “I would rather fight a foreigner, but Vitor is a guy who’s done a lot and he’s a great fighter, and I couldn’t say no.”
Whatever the case, Lyoto Machida is keen to make one last run at the UFC middleweight title, which has eluded him since he dropped down to the division in October of 2013.
“I don’t want to be in this sport just to participate,” Machida explained. “I want to be in this to win, and that’s what motivates me every day to break down barriers and to get better every time, and to exceed my limits and to win fights.
“I want to keep moving (and taking) steps forward, and I want to keep winning fights and getting closer to the title.”
Who do you want to see Lyoto Machida fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/4/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM