Machida keen on GSP possibility

ESPN staff
September 27, 2012
Could Lyoto Machida step down to middleweight? © UFC

Light-heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida has expressed an interest in fighting returning welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in a special middleweight bout.

Machida is currently in limbo in the light-heavyweight division, after rejecting the opportunity to fight champion Jon Jones at UFC 151 - a decision that contributed to the eventual cancellation of the event and angered UFC chief Dana White.

Now forced to bide his time for another shot at Jones, Machida has admitted that a fight against St-Pierre - who is making his return from a long injury lay-off - at 185lbs is a contest he would be interested in.

"It would be an interesting karate duel but I don't know at what weight we would do it," Machida told Globo Esporte. "If it is at 185lbs, I will go for it."

Many fighters are queuing up to face the Canadian, however, with dominant middleweight Anderson Silva also in discussions. If the fight cannot be arranged and Machida stays at light-heavyweight, he will continue his training to prepare for a rematch with Jones.

Machida noted that Vitor Belfort's narrow defeat to the American this month - as the Brazilian nearly won with an early armbar - showed that Jones is not unbeatable.

"I wouldn't let his arm go at all. I would have brought it back to Brazil," Machida said. "But I think Vitor didn't relax his hold, I think Jon Jones had the skill to get away from that position. That was almost set, maybe 90 per cent, but then the champion's spirit spoke more strongly.

"Jon will now go and prepare more on this part of his game, for sure. Vitor was prepared for that position, it came in very fast. I always see holes in Jones' game, but you have to be very well prepared to explore them."

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