Both Lyoto Machida and Alexander Gustafsson have been mentioned recently in talks as next in-line for champ Jon Jones, following his win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 159. Jones has even gone as far as to say he’d prefer a new challenge in Gustafsson over Machida, who he defeated in 2011. Unfortunately, neither man will likely be stepping in the cage with the champ anytime soon as Jones suffered a grotesque toe bone break (NSFW) during his last bout.
Both contenders sound to be understanding of the circumstances and looking to shake off any ring rust that may have collected over the last few months. Here’s what Machida had to say today on the matter.
“I am interest for this fight because now I think it is a good idea to put Gustafsson against me,” said Machida. “He’s the number two contender. I’m the number one contender. Let’s gonna see what happen.” – via Ariel Helwani
Gustafsson also had this to say during the MMAHour.
“I want to fight Jones. I want to fight for the title, that’s what I want to do. But, I am not going to wait for a long time because I fought in December. I fought ‘Shogun’ in December and I want to fight soon, so. I want to fight in a couple of months, at least. I want to fight soon. If Jones can’t fight, which I would understand because (his injury) looked very nasty and could be out awhile, then I will fight Machida, too. But, if Jones can fight in a few months, I would love to fight him.”
With both verbally agreeing to battle, we now await UFC match maker Joe Silva to make the decision, if these two should fight for the next title shot.
Photographer: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sport