Prior to UFC Fight Night 30, it was widely held that if Lyoto Machida defeated middleweight contender Mark Munoz, “The Dragon” could move into the title shot picture. Now, as a result of Machida’s first round KO win, that’s precisely what’s happened.
The UFC has released it’s latest rankings, and the media members who determine the positions have awarded Machida the #5 spot at 185. Munoz has dropped down from #5–as a result of the loss–and now sits at #7.
As a result of Machida’s move into the top ten, Francis Carmont and Costa Philippou have each dropped one spot and are now ranked #8 and #9 respectively. Chael Sonnen, who hasn’t fought at 185 since he was stopped by Anderson Silva last July, sits at #10.
Machida still retains a top ten spot at 205 pounds, as the former champ dropped four spots as a result of his move to middleweight, and is ranked #10. “Shogun” Rua, Gegard Mousasi, Sonnen and Dan Henderson all moved up one and are ranked #9,8,7, and 6 respectively.
So, as a result of Machida’s new standing at 185, the 35 year-old vet will almost certainly face an established fighter next. There’s been talk of him fighting Michael Bisping, and Machida acknowledged that would “a great fight” following UFN 30, but it remains unclear as to when Bisping will be able to fight again. “The Count” is hoping to return from a serious eye injury sometime in early 2014.
Dana White has also said fans are buzzing about the possibility of Machida fighting Vitor Belfort, but the latter is set to fight Henderson on November 9th.
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