Lyoto Machida declines to step in against Rashad Evans at UFC 133Posted on July 13, 2011, 02:33 PM by Joey Santosus
Contrary to recent reports, former Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida will not be stepping in to face Rashad Evans at UFC 133 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Speaking to Tatame.com, Machida's manager Ed Soares cited a lack of sufficient time to prepare as the reason for "The Dragon's" reluctance to accept the bout on little more than three weeks notice.
"It won’t happen… I think he doesn't have enough time to get ready," Soares told TATAME. "I’m at Rio de Janeiro with Jose Aldo, Anderson (Silva) and (Rodrigo) Minotauro, do Joinha (Jorge Guimarães) is dealing with this negotiations, but, from what I know, it won’t happen."
Attempts to reach Guiamaraes were unsuccessful, however Caju Freitas of the Brazilian site Clicrbs.com did get word from Machida's camp, who added, "The fight is close and for the sake of professionalism we can not accept it. We always do our best, but there is just a few weeks remaining and it would not be fair to the fans to do a bad fight."
Machida is at least the second fighter to turn down the match-up, as UFC President Dana White revealed via Twitter on Tuesday that Tito Ortiz had also been offered and declined the fight.
The August 6th main event is just the latest in a series of cancled bouts and delayed title fights that have become the norm for Evans, who has not seen action since May of last year, when he defeated current title challenger Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Machida, meanwhile, recently rebounded from a two-fight losing skid with a first-round knockout victory over Randy Couture at UFC 129. The Brazilian currently stands as the only fighter to defeat Evans after dethroning "Suga" in 2009 to take the Light Heavyweight strap.
Photo: UFC fighter Lyoto Machida at the Black House gym in Gardena, California on October 20, 2009. Francis Specker