The Saga Continues…Machida in.Out.In.Out.
Rashad Evans is without an opponent for UFC 133, in case you missed the news. It’s all the Twittersphere has been able to talk about since Phil ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Davis announced last night he had to pull out due to a knee injury. Instantly names started getting thrown in the mix, starting with Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida. Within an hour or so Tito declined the bout (sparking it’s own debate) taking to Twitter, he had this
“I have a life and things to take care of. The fight game is about making the right choices of my career. If you knew what I have been going through you all would understand. Peaking for a fight is what makes a fighter unstoppable! Timing is everything in life. This is a rebuild year for me not do or die. The time will come again!”
Leaving Machida as the likely opponent, which made sense. I went to sleep with the idea that Machida had accepted the bout, thus all was well in the UFC universe, I awoke to find that sadly, this is not the case. It appears no new news aside from Machida not being confirmed. Machida’s wife/manager had this to say.
From Nomundo Dos Lutas in Brasil:
“The fight is close and for the sake of professionalism we can not accept it. We always do our best, but there is only a few weeks [until the fight] and it wouldn’t be fair on the fans to put in a bad performance,”
Here’s where it gets confusing.
Kevin Iole via his Twitter:
“Just got a text from @danawhite. Machida is in vs. Suga Rashad, he says.”
And finally from Ed Soares via Tatame.com
“It won’t happen… I think he doesn’t have enough time to get ready, I’m at Rio de Janeiro with Jose Aldo, Anderson and Minotauro, do Joinha is dealing with this negotiations, but, from what I know, it won’t happen”.
Dana White’s Twitter has been silent since late last night, a strange occurrence for the Twitter prolific White. With no hard confirmation (in the form of a press release or Official UFC announcement) the Twittersphere is running rampant with alternative opponents. From the obvious (Machida), to the obscure (Brandon Vera, Dan Henderson, King Mo) to the idea of breaking up existing bouts (Rich Franklin vs. Lil Nog). It looks like the possibility of Evans not fighting is getting more and more likely. It would be an interesting move if the UFC scrapped the bout altogether. One Rashad would see as a slight against himself from the UFC brass (as he’s stated in the past, they don;t like him and punish him randomly) leading to a worse relationship with Dana and the UFC. It’s possible Rashad may never get his shot at Jones, there is no way Rashad isn’t beating his head against the wall saying “I shoudn’t have waited, I shouldn’t have waited, I shouldn’t have waited.” May the fight God’s be kind and find Rashad a suitable opponent. We will know something in the course of the day I suspect.