Machida expresses his shock and excitement over unexpected UFC 173 title fight opportunity

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Lyoto Machida was surprised by the offer to replace Vitor Belfort in the UFC Middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 173.

Lyoto Machida told Combate.com that he as surprised as everybody else by the recent events that resulted in his next UFC title shot. The karateka will replace Vitor Belfort and headline the UFC 173 against the middleweight champion Chris Weidman, on May 24th in Las Vegas, Nevada following the NSAC's decision to ban TRT and the resulting removal of The Phenom from the card:

In fact, the news that I was going to fight for the belt was surprising. To know this so suddenly was shocking. But it is always good to fight for the belt further when you have only two fights in the division. I was at home and Ed Soares called telling me that he had good news. I was on vacation after Mousasi fight but I will get back to gym. I would like to fight again in the end of May or in June, my plan was to keeping me active. But there are yet 12 weeks, I will have enough time to prepare myself.

About the NSAC decision, The Dragon seems to not agree completely.

I'm an athlete, so it is hard to talk. Each case is different. Not everybody can have this benefit, but if it is proved that there is a natural deficiency in his body, I don't think you can forbid a guy of fighting. It is tough but you have to see what is legal and what isn't. If the NSAC was allowing this to happen until now. It is not allowed anymore, so we have to follow what is legal and straight, always ok with the regulation.

With the chance of being the third men with UFC belts in two different divisions, Lyoto expresses his excitement and don't fear the challenge.

Everybody has a flaw, either on the ground or in the stand up game. I will try to find his flaw. It is hard now to talk which one would that be. I think that fighting must be more intuitive than thought. There are always more motivation than preassure. Achievements always excites. But now it's time to train and prepare myself to the fight.

Machida is the former UFC Light Heavyweight champ but moved down to Middleweight last year following a loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163.

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