(Whatever happened to working your way back up the ladder after a loss?)
Apparently Lyoto Machida is trying to jump to the front of the line of fighters in the queue to face Mauricio Rua when the UFC light heavyweight champ returns from rehabbing from knee surgery he underwent a few weeks ago.
According to an interview he did with MMAJunkie, Machida’s manager Ed Soares says that his charge’s first choice of fights would be a rubbermatch with Rua, but since according to UFC president Dana White, Shogun will likely be sidelined until March, they would instead like to battle for an interim belt with the man who is said to be next in line for a shot at the real belt.
"Honestly, we’d like to fight ‘Shogun,’" Machida’s manager, Ed Soares, today told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "Now it’s 1-1. It’s even. Let’s do this rubber match. Let’s figure this out. Granted, he won by decision and Lyoto won decisively, but anyone can get caught in this sport. He went in for the kill, and unfortunately, he got caught."
"Since ‘Shogun’ is out – they’re saying until March – personally, when there’s an injured champion, I would love to see maybe a Rashad-Lyoto match for the interim title. I think that would be something that would be cool, and the winner of that would get to fight ‘Shogun’ when he’s all healed up in the spring of next year."
Wait a minute. When did Ed Soares take over Joe Silva’s job and why should he get to pick who Machida fights for an interim title that he thinks the UFC should create? Maybe Ed should worry more about things that are under his control, like translating Portuguese into English. Two words for you, Ed, Rosetta Stone
I’m all for immediate rematches — title or no — when the loser gets shafted by a debatable decision like Rua-Machida I, but Lyoto was knocked out cold in the last fight, and should be sent down a few rungs of the UFC’s light heavyweight ladder to work his way back up to contention.
Interim titles themselves are somewhat useless. They’re like the "take a number" machines at the supermarket deli counter that are supposed to prevent people like Lyoto from jumping in front of you to order their head cheese or liverwurst. Even with the machines in place and the big red flashing numbers behind the counter, you always get one idiot who realizes after a few minutes go by that he doesn’t have a number and he suckers someone into giving him theirs by telling them he "was here before all of these people."
Guess what, Lyoto, you aren’t the champ anymore. Take a number and wait in line like everybody else. They may be out of Rashads and Ruas when your number is called, but there’s plenty of Rampages, Baders and Forrests for you to sample while you wait.