“The winner of Saturday night’s clash is likely to face Brazilian hotshot Lyoto Machida next. And Griffin is wary of the threat The Dragon poses. He admitted: “I want nothing to do with that guy. Not at all. He’s a tough fighter and I’d like to fight a lot of other guys first.”
BloodyElbow.com’s Michael Rome adds:
“It’s not going to be easy to book Machida’s fights going forward. The top guys have very little to gain by fighting him. If they lose a boring fight, it’s terrible for their reputation and drawing power, and if they beat him, the win doesn’t really do much besides boost their credibility among hardcore MMA fans. Even Quinton Jackson has given some signals of late that he is not interested in this fight. The other day he made it clear that he only wants to fight guys that come in and fight, not guys who run away.
Pleasing fans isn’t the only obstacle for Machida now. The next one is going to be convincing fighters that there is any upside at all in fighting him, because you need two signatures to finalize a fight contract.”
Rome speaks the truth. On paper Machida is an excellent fighter, but if no one wants to fight him (at least no one good) and the UFC has such trouble marketing him, then what are they supposed to do with “The Dragon”? Let’s face it, Machida could probably pull out decisions all the way to earning the LHW title, but is that what the fans, the UFC, or anyone else wants? I doubt it.