When word came out this week that Daniel Cormier intends to call for an immediate title shot at 205 pounds, after he fights Roy Nelson, everyone figured fighters like Lyoto Machida would have something to say about it, and guess what? “The Dragon” does.
The former light-heavyweight champ and the division’s current #1 contender was on a media call Thursday to promote his upcoming, UFC 163 bout with Phil Davis. Not surprisingly, Machida was asked for his thoughts on Cormier’s plan, and here’s what the 35 year-old said.
“I believe there’s a ranking and it should be followed. There’s a lot of guys in line right now at this weight class to fight for a title. I’ve been waiting in line, there’s Glover Teixeira, there’s Phil Davis, so there’s a lot of guys in there in the mix.”
“If he’s going to move down to 205, he’s going to need to put a couple fights in, or at least have a significant win in a big fight, and I don’t think it’s right for him to just come in and cut the line. I think he’s going to have to show that he deserves that title shot.”
Machida isn’t the first to voice such sentiments when it comes to fighters getting tapped for immediate title shots, but as recent history documents, it happens. Although Dana White has gone on record stating Cormier could get tapped for a championship fight when he moves to 205, it’s likely not certain. If Cormier has difficulties getting by Nelson, and Machida or Teixeira electrify audiences with big wins versus Davis and Ryan Bader respectively, the promotion might go with one of them instead.
UFC 163 takes place August 3rd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the main card will be broadcast via pay-per-view.