Lyoto Machida spoke to Sherdog today about his interactions with the UFC regarding a possible UFC 133 fight with Rashad Evans. His story differs from Dana White's version to a degree, but he does admit that he did indeed ask for "Anderson Silva" money to take the fight. Here's what he had to say:
"I wanted a guarantee to fight [Evans at UFC 133]," said Machida. "My manager, ‘Joinha’ [Jorge Guimaraes], called me and I said at first that I was excited to be in the lineup. But, after meeting with my team, we saw that it wouldn’t be a good idea, especially because Dana White wanted me to travel to the U.S. immediately to have my training camp there. Many of the members of my corner don’t have visas right now. Then, I said, ‘If you want me to fight, pay me as a champion. Pay me like you pay Anderson Silva."
He then offered up this analogy as an explanation:
"A man approaches you wanting to buy your house, but you don’t want to sell it," said Machida. "So then, you ask for a higher price. You want it? Then pay what I’m asking. I can’t put my career at risk with a bad showing. I think I’d have more to lose than to win in that fight. I have a name in the company. I don’t fight without being prepared, even when I lose. I can’t step in and take the chance of having a bad fight. Today, you have to be extremely prepared."
. Machida added that he believed that Phil Davis would be cleared to fight:
"Joinha called me, saying they’ve offered me the fight, and then called back later saying it wouldn’t be necessary anymore because Phil Davis got cleared to fight. Then, I traveled to the beach with my family and the negotiations reopened."
Dana White said earlier today at the press conference that this won't be held against him in future negotiations and that sometimes people "just lose their minds". Machida hopes that Dana is telling the truth in this regard:
"If I’m requested [to fight] in a different way from now on, OK," said Machida. "It’s not like I can’t train in Belem, but ‘pack your stuff and go to the U.S.,’ that takes money and time. It’s a professional relationship. Everything is business and people need to split things. I hope the UFC won’t harm me. It’s gotta be 100-percent with me and them. I want to respect the promotion, my fans and myself. That was my main cause for turning down that fight."
Interesting stuff from Machida. I commend him for at least speaking on the subject, but it might end up backfiring on him.