Lyoto Machida is currently making his name as a top middleweight in the UFC, after dropping from light-heavyweight, a division that he was once the champion of. Currently ranked as the number one contender at 185 pounds, and some are calling it the start of ‘The Machida era II’.
UFC president Dana White recently revealed that he paid ‘The Dragon’ a locker room bonus for his 2008 decision win over Tito Ortiz, that was back in the first ‘Machida Era’ when the Karate master was 13-0 in MMA. Machida recently spoke to MMAFighting about the bonus, check it out:
"I felt like a hitman getting money from the boss, but it was cool. I won’t tell you how much he paid me," he said with a laugh, "but it was good money. (White) said I was dominating the fight and out of a sudden (Ortiz) got me on that triangle," Machida said. "He said ‘s--t, I can’t believe it.’ He went crazy, but then I got out of it. So I guess he gave me a bonus because he was scared of that triangle (laughs)."
Ortiz and White never really saw eye-to-eye, and were once booked in to square off in a boxing match. ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ no-showed the weigh-ins and the fight never came to fruition. White’s check to Machida after the fight at UFC 84 is further proof that White has an intense disliking for his promotion’s former champ.
Ortiz was not denied his rite of passage in to the UFC hall of fame, not so fortunate are former legends Frank Shamrock, Ken Shamrock and countless others. The beef with White became more intensified after Ortiz’s 2012 retirement, and White has had nothing but hate for the former lhw boss since he signed for Bellator last year.
Machida, on the other hand, is a resurging force. He will likely face the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort at UFC 173, after knocking out Mark Munoz and decisioning Gegard Mousasi during his middleweight stint. Perhaps Machida’s good favor with Dana White will help strengthen his case for a title shot, or could Anderson Silva’s (seemingly) imminent return change everything?