Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is coming off a big win over friend and training partner Mark Munoz in his middleweight debut at UFC Fight Night 30. In an interview with Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting, Machida talked about what it was like to fight his friend, and what he thinks his best options are going forward. First, he discusses the bout with Munoz:
"It was tough to deal with it when they offered me the fight, but after that I got mentally prepared to do my best in there," he said. "I have a huge respect for Mark Munoz and I had to do my best inside the Octagon to honor him as a friend. Win or lose, I had to do my best there.
"I have fought my brother some times before," he said. "We got hurt some times, needed stitches, but it was normal after the fights. We always had a positive rivalry that pushed both of us to our best.
"I had do that secret move to win because he knew my game."
On the move to 185:
"I was No. 1 in the light heavyweight division for a long time, fought for the title several times, but moving down to 185 was the best option for me right now. I’ve fought all the best at 205 so this is like a new career for me."
"Vitor Belfort is the best option for me right now," said Machida. "I want to fight him. It would be the best fight for me right now because he’s well ranked in the middleweight division. No hard feelings, I’m thinking what’s best for my career and where I can get with a win. Even if Vitor loses to Dan Henderson, I’d want to fight him in our weight class."
"A win over Vitor Belfort puts me in front of everybody in the rankings, but let’s see what happens," he said. "It’s too soon to talk about it because Anderson Silva is too far away from me right now. Even if he wins, I don’t know for how long he will want to keep fighting. I haven’t talked to him for a long time. I don’t know how it’s going to work, we have the same managers. I rather not to talk about it now. When we get there, we’ll figure it out."
Belfort and Henderson are scheduled to meet in a light heavyweight bout in the main event of UFC Fight Night 32 next month.