(Photo courtesy Esther Lin/Fanhouse)
In his first public interview since losing his UFC light heavyweight title to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 113 last weekend, Lyoto Machida told Brazilian televison station, Globo Esporte, that he is in no hurry to fight for the belt he owned for 11 1/2 months. Besides healing from a fractured orbital bone sustained in the fight Saturday night that may require surgery, Machida wants to take the time to analyze tape of the loss and shore up any weaknesses before stepping back into the Octagon with Rua, or whomever holds the strap when he is ready to fight for it again in approximately ten months to a year.
"I don’t care who has it; I want to have the opportunity to fight for the belt. If it’s Shogun I’m ok, I’ll enjoy the win more. That punch really got me and in this division it’s really damaging to get hit with a punch like that. When it gets you, it’s really damaging. My plans are to fight for this belt in a year or less — maybe more like 10 months. To regain the belt has become my new dream."
Although he didn’t mention in the interview if he would take a tune-up fight in the interim, Machida, who says he believes he was winning the fight before being knocked out by Rua, says that he is confident that he will retain the title.
“It’s a tough time for me. I’m trying to understand what I did wrong, but on the other hand it’s been great having the support of my fans. I was well prepared, focused and strong because our last fight was very controversial. I wanted to end this fight. I was feeling fast, but a fight is a fight. You can’t predict what will happen. One moment you’re winning and then a guy hits you and you lose. I feel that I was winning this fight despite his aggressiveness. I give Shogun a lot of credit for his win. He deserved it and is the new champion, but the last you’ll hear of me. Life will go on."