• UFC 157

White: Machida is light-heavyweight No. 1 contender

ESPN staff
February 24, 2013
Lyoto Machida targeted Dan Henderson's body © Getty Images

Dana White confessed he did not enjoy Lyoto Machida's victory over Dan Henderson at UFC 157, but did confirm the Brazilian is the No. 1 contender for a light-heavyweight title shot.

Machida delivered something of a Karate masterclass against Henderson, countering throughout the fight and making his rival miss on multiple occasions.

His focus and reactions led to a split decision triumph, although in truth a unanimous call would have been more reflective of his control.

At the final klaxon boos greeted both Machida and Henderson, who spent large parts of the bout failing to engage, and White was not impressed himself. Nevertheless, as it stands, Machida is in line for the winner of Jon Jones v Chael Sonnen.

"Oh, it was a spectacular fight, tons of action! Action-packed from bell-to-bell," White said sarcastically on Fuel TV. "The fight didn't live up to the hype. Neither one of them did anything the last three minutes of the third round.

"You know, Dan's stomping around like he won the fight. I gave it to Machida, but it depends on how you score that first round. I don't think any guy did anything spectacular in any round.

"[But] there is no doubt that Machida is the No. 1 contender - he just beat Dan Henderson, who was the No. 1 contender. He won. Listen, Dan Henderson is a tough guy. Durable guy. He did land some good shots, but Machida pulled out the split decision win."

White had previously been quoted as saying Alexander Gustafsson would be next in line at 205lbs if he beat Gegard Mousasi, but the president's quotes were misrepresented.

Machida would not be a unanimously popular choice for the next title challenger if Jones overcomes Sonnen. The pair have already fought once, with Jones winning by submission, and the champion has previously expressed a lack of interest in a rematch.

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