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Lyoto Machida thinks Anderson Silva is a ‘victim', was ‘down to fight' Vitor Belfort

While Anderson Silva keeps washing his hands of that awful PED/drug testing case, he gets a little backup by a prominent old friend: former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

Anderson Silva has his hands full right now. This whole PED mess could ruin his legacy as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, and yet, no one seems to believe his explanations. He claims he's innocent, but multiple failed drug tests prior to and post UFC 183 speak another language. Now, Silva's buddy Lyoto Machida stepped in and vouched for his old friend and his innocence in this video by MMA Digest.

"I'm very surprised, but I think [Silva's] a victim," Machida told MMA Digest. "I think he's a story. I prefer not to talk about that because it's a very difficult situation. I have a lot of confidence in Anderson. I know that maybe he doesn't use that. I'm in camp. He's in America now. I haven't talked to him for a while. I don't know what happened. I prefer to stay away from this situation."

Of course, Lyoto Machida also has some own business to attend to right now. As he mentioned, he is currently in camp for his next fight. Originally he was expected to to step in for the injured middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who left title challenger Vitor Belfort without an opponent at UFC 184 on February 28. But Belfort refused to face his countryman and rather opted to wait for Weidman's return. A decision that surprised many, especially because Belfort obviously wanted to fight in February and asked for several other, lower-ranked opponents like Mark Munoz first - he just didn't want to fight Machida.

"I thought that [Belfort] could fight against me," said Machida. "He's a very well prepared athlete. Good standup, good on the ground. He's a complete fighter, but he has his own reasons to not accept the fight. I respect his decision because I like to respect my decision when I have to decide something. [...] I respect his decision, but I was down to fight. As soon as [UFC president] Dana White called me he asked about the fight. I said, 'I'm down to fight anytime,' because I never stop training. [Belfort] has his own reasons."

(Transcription taken via

Machida will now face Luke Rockhold at UFC on FOX 15 in Newark, NJ on April 18 instead.