Former UFC light heavyweight champion was promised another title shot at current champion Jon Jones with a win over Dan Henderson at UFC 157. While it wasn’t pretty, ‘The Dragon’ got that win, but did not get his title shot. Jones was instead scheduled to fight Alexander Gustafsson in September, and Machida found himself with a date to fight Phil Davis.
While Machida is regarded as the fighter to hit Jones with the cleanest shot, he was perhaps prevented from another chance at the title because Jones choked him unconscious in their 2011 meeting. Regardless of the reason, Machida believes that there’s nothing preventing him from getting another crack at the belt should he defeat Davis at UFC 163:
“I think with this next victory that I’ll have, I will be the next contender, for sure. I have some keys on how to win Jon Jones. I was very close [to] the victory against Jones. Maybe if somebody gives me a rematch, I can get that.” – via Sherdog
It’s definitely arguable if Machida was actually close to victory over Jones in their first encounter because he was finished so decisively. Perhaps he does stand a chance in a rematch, because he most likely saw aspects of Jones’ striking that many did not.
However, he could also get finished again in a lopsided affair, and that does not bode well for the UFC and their pay-per-view numbers. Many casual fans of MMA deride Machida as boring for his highly elusive style. But it is very tough to argue with his results, as he’s beaten a veritable who’s who of light heavyweight contenders during his impressive UFC career. Even if he knocks Phil Davis out this August, will a rematch against Jones turn out to be any different?