After beating Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) via split decision, Lyoto Machida (19-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) said he’s healthy and could fight in three months.
But the ex-champ is in no rush to meet the winner of an upcoming title bout between champ Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, which takes place in April at UFC 159.
“Let’s see what happens in that fight and the timeline that they come up with and if nobody gets injured,” Machida on Monday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “A lot of things can happen, but depending on the timing, I could even do another fight at a catch weight or something else to not lose the rhythm.”
Machida, who lost his No. 1 contender spot when he turned down a fight with Jones at UFC 152, dodged Henderson’s winging punches during their fight, which served as the co-main event of UFC 157 this past Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The bout did not go over well with fans, who loudly booed the tactical affair and Machida.
“The Dragon” had actively campaigned for a title shot prior to the event. He also restated a wish to try his hand at middleweight.
Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White confirmed the Henderson fight was a title eliminator, and didn’t change his mind afterward despite the chilly reception. But Machida’s enthusiasm for a rematch with Jones, who choked him unconscious at UFC 140, appears to have waned.
“It’s not just about the belt for me,” he said. “Of course, everyone wants to fight for the belt, and I’d like to fight Jon Jones in a rematch, but I want to keep fighting. I want to keep challenging myself, so it’s really not just about one thing.”
Machida, who lost the light heavyweight title to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 113, expected Henderson to be a crowd favorite in Anaheim, but admitted to being affected by shifting loyalties among fans.
“Sometimes, I do feel bad,” he said. “If you’re winning, the fans are with you. If you’re losing, they’re against you. I feel that in the U.S., especially, because it feels like in Brazil, they’re going to support you when you’re down and when you’re up.”
Henderson, who lost his spot in line when a knee injury forced him to withdraw from a fight with Jones at the ill-fated UFC 151, said Machida “did a great job of not fighting.”
Machida defended his performance as more “efficient” than Henderson, but wished the fight could have been five rounds instead of three.
“It would have been a lot better for my style of fighting,” he said. “If you look at the third round after we got back up, I was a lot more comfortable in the fight, and I felt that I could strike a lot more. Henderson was feeling the strikes. So if I had the extra two rounds, it would have been a different story.”
Meanwhile, he brushed off Henderson’s criticism.
“I think he was just frustrated after the fight,” Machida said. “But really, if I didn’t fight, then what happened to his face?”