Lyoto Machida may have lost his bid for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 175, but he still has a lot of options as one of the top-ranked middleweights in the world. Machida lost a tough battle against Chris Weidman in the main event for last night’s pay-per-view card. However, since it is still early in his middleweight career, Machida actually has many options for fresh new fights in the weight class. With the right wins, Machida could earn another shot at the title at some point.
Machida recently turned 36 years old and he has 26 career fights, but he also has not engaged in the debilitating wars that other fighters have endured. Machida’s sometimes infamous style has prevented him from taking the type of damage and hits many fighters do during their fight careers. Only two fighters have ever finished Machida: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Jon Jones. To date, Shogun is the only fighter who was able to knock Machida out.
There are plenty of interesting and exciting match-ups for Machida in the top 10 of the division. In the top five, there is Luke Rockhold, who is coming off two impressive wins over Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch. The prospect of a matchup between those two fighters is very exciting. Going down the rest of the top 10, there is also Tim Kennedy and Michael Bisping. Bisping vs. Machida would certainly be a money fight. However, that hinges on the result of the upcoming fight of Bisping vs. Cung Le. Kennedy was actually scheduled to face Machida at UFC Fight for the Troops 3 last November, but Machida ended up replacing an injured Bisping against Mark Munoz. Kennedy is on a great streak right now, so putting him against Machida after his title bout would be very interesting.
So, there are actually a lot of good options for Machida to fight right now. And since he still had a fairly competitive effort against Weidman, with a few key wins, he could earn another title opportunity sooner rather than later. Even in a losing effort, Machida still looks like he has not lost many steps in the Octagon, despite his age.