It looks like Lyoto Machida is not done gunning for another championship. Machida is targeting an early October return and it seems that he wouldn’t mind mixing it up with Luke Rockhold. To me, this fight makes plenty of sense. Machida is coming off a loss to champion Chris Weidman, and Rockhold is coming off a first-round submission of Tim Boetsch, so these two fighting would be a perfect meeting ground.
Rockhold has been asking for another big-name opponent for a while, and he can absolutely get that in Machida. Machida has been around for so long that he has fought a who’s who of two divisions, and he is a former champion himself. A win over Machida could very well net Rockhold that elusive title shot. For Machida, since he is coming off of a championship loss, a top five opponent makes sense. Machida is so good that he is never more than two or three wins away from receiving a title shot. I suppose that that makes him a gargantuan gatekeeper, and a win over Machida speaks volumes.
All of the risk of this fight clearly goes on Machida. A loss to a champion is nothing to be ashamed of, but a loss to a guy who has never even fought for a UFC championship is something that could really hurt Machida. Rockhold, on the other hand, can benefit volumes off a win over Machida. Is it a good fight? Well, with Machida it is always a coin toss. When he is aggressive and goes for the finish, his fights are insanely exciting. If he fights defensively, his fights can be a little boring. I doubt that a fight against Rockhold would be boring, but this fight makes sense considering where both men are at in the UFC landscape.