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Lyoto Machida still wants Michael Bisping, but wouldn’t decline Vitor Belfort

Middleweight Lyoto Machida welcomes bouts against both UFC veterans for his next match.

UFC Fight Night: Machida v Anders
Lyoto Machida
Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida would like to face a fellow veteran for his next UFC bout. As he said right after his split decision win against Eryk Anders, his top choice would be former middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Machida told Combate he would like to take on “The Count” before Bisping retires.

“What I heard is that Michael Bisping is ready to fight me and I fulfill all his requirements,” Machida said. “Whenever two fighters agree to fight each other, the UFC makes the fight. He’s talking about retirement, but I don’t share that thought. I still have quite a ways to go, I’m hungry, I want to climb the rankings.”

If the Bisping fights falls through, however, Machida would not turn down a bout against another veteran of the sport and another UFC former champion, Vitor Belfort.

“As a professional, I’m not in a position in which I can make demands or choices. Vitor Belfort is a person whom I really admire,” Machida said. “If I could choose, I’d rather fight Bisping, because he’s not a Brazilian and is another legend of the sport. But I have no choice, if they give me Vitor, I’d fight him, but it’s not something I’m pursuing.”

Lyoto Machida snapped a three-fight losing skid. with losses to Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson, when he edged out Eryk Anders via split decision on February 3, in his hometown of Belem, Brazil.

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