UFC light-heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida is set to face off against Phil Davis at UFC 163 on August 3 in Brazil and the winner could very well earn the next crack at the 205-pound title. While this is a bout between two of the top contenders in the division, undefeated heavyweight Daniel Cormier is lobbying for an immediate title shot at 205 if he is victorious in his UFC 166 bout against Roy Nelson.
Cormier may be lobbying for an immediate title shot, but Machida isn’t having any of that.
The Brazilian believes that Cormier would need to fall in line and work his way up the light-heavyweight ladder if he wanted a crack at the belt.
“I believe that there’s a ranking and it should be followed,” Machida said during the UFC 163 conference call on Thursday. “There are a lot of guys in line right now in the weight class to fight for a title. I’ve been waiting in line. There’s Glover Teixeira, there’s Phil Davis, so there’s a lot of guys in there in the mix.
“If he’s going to move down to 205, he’s going to need to put a couple of fights in, or at least have a significant win in a big fight. I don’t think it’s right for him to just come in and cut the line. I think he’s going to have to show that he deserves that title shot.”
Machida’s thoughts may indirectly help Cormier in the long run.
If Cormier was to fall in line, he would have longer to successfully make the cut to 205 pounds and he would get a warm up fight to see how his body reacts to competing in the new weight class.
When you consider Cormier’s past experiences cutting weight (including kidney failure while cutting to the 212 pound range for the 2008 Beijing Olympics that ultimately ended his amateur wrestling career), it may be in Cormier’s best interest to take things slowly and not worry about jumping to the front of the line.