With the rumors swirling that Dan Henderson may be forced from his title bout against UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones, the UFC might have to find a replacement. The unfortunate timing of Hendo's knee injury leaves them with less than 10 days to find a suitable replacement. There is some hope, however, as only 3 weeks ago a new 205 lb. contender was announced.
At the UFC On Fox 4 press conference, UFC president Dana White seemingly made good on his Light Heavyweight title contender promise. White confirmed that Lyoto Machida, with his second round knock out of Ryan Bader, earned his second chance to reclaim the 205 lb. championship. In the meantime, current champion Jon Jones has voiced his dissatisfaction on Dana's selection.
Last night on UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani relayed the response from Machida's manager Ed Soares:
Since Jon Jones has become a "PPV expert" he should know that international pay per views usually draw less than 30% than domestic pay per views. Lyoto Machida is coming off a huge win over Ryan Bader on UFC On Fox 4 earlier this month and a lot of people are interested in seeing whether or not Lyoto Machida can figure out Jon Jones. Lyoto Machida isn't the kind of trash talker that Jon Jones is used to. Guys like Rashad Evans, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson - those guys have maybe elevated the numbers.
Lyoto Machida is a very respectful fighter. He has fought everyone that the UFC has asked him to fight. That's why he expects Jon Jones, if he beats Dan Henderson on September 1st, to fight Lyoto Machida again.
If Henderson is actually forced from the fight at UFC 151, Jones's doubts about Machida's ability to draw PPV buys are inconsequential. As it stands now, there is no other fighter in the UFC's Light Heavyweight division more qualified to fight Jon Jones on short notice than Lyoto Machida. Additionally, despite the early second round finish, Machida is one of very few to give Jones problems in the cage.
It remains to be seen whether or not Machida would even be willing to face Jones on 10 days notice, but he definitely wants a rematch with Jones and his camp has made their case that he deserves one.
SBN coverage of UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson