‘Dragon’ Wants Piece of UFC ‘Rio’ Pie

By Marcelo Alonso Apr 28, 2011
Lyoto Machida wants to join the party at UFC “Rio.” | Photo: Sherdog.com

Plenty of Brazilians have made known their desire to compete at UFC “Rio” on Aug. 27 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -- the UFC’s first event in Brazil in more than a decade.

Add Lyoto Machida to the list.

The historic show will feature a middleweight title bout between longtime champion Anderson Silva and the world-ranked Yushin Okami, along with a rematch pairing former light heavyweight titleholders Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Forrest Griffin with one another.

“My desire [to fight on the card] is so great,” Machida told Sherdog.com. “Being able to fight here in a big event is part of my dream. I’ve fought in smaller events, but I’d like to fight in a big event in Brazil. I’m waiting for the opportunity, and I’ve heard from people who want to see me there. I’d like to show my appreciation in the Octagon and show a little of our fighting style to the entire public.”

Machida will meet hall of famer and five-time champion Randy Couture at UFC 129 “St. Pierre vs. Shields” on April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The 32-year-old former light heavyweight boss has lost back-to-back fights after opening his career with 16 consecutive victories. He last appeared at UFC 123 in November, when he dropped a controversial split decision to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich.

If he does end up on the UFC “Rio” card, Machida plans to leave the matchmaking to others.

“If I could choose, of course I’d choose to fight for the belt and to win it in Brazil, but it would take a lot of arrogance on my part to talk about that now,” he said. “I prefer to let [UFC President] Dana White decide. He’s my boss.”

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