Lyoto Machida sees Vitor Belfort as his best option in next UFC opponent

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A Brazilian-versus-Brazilian fight could decide a contender in the UFC middleweight division.

Fresh off of his first-round knockout of Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30, Lyoto Machida is eyeing a matchup with his fellow countryman and 185-pound standout Vitor Belfort.

“The Dragon” relayed his sentiment in an interview with

“Vitor Belfort is the best option for me right now,” Machida told the website. “I want to fight him. It would be the best fight for me right now because he’s well ranked in the middleweight division. No hard feelings, I’m thinking what’s best for my career and where I can get with a win. Even if Vitor loses to Dan Henderson, I’d want to fight him in our weight class.”

A win over Belfort would mean immediate consideration for middleweight title contention for Machida. It’s a fate that he’s going for, but, like he did with Munoz, he would face another friend if Anderson Silva beats Chris Weidman for the title at UFC 168 in December. Adding to the complexity of the situation, Machida and Silva share the same manager, Ed Soares.

Machida said that fighting Silva will be a bridge he’ll cross no sooner than when he gets to it.

“A win over Vitor Belfort puts me in front of everybody in the rankings, but let’s see what happens,” he said. “It’s too soon to talk about it because Anderson Silva is too far away from me right now. Even if he wins, I don’t know for how long he will want to keep fighting. I haven’t talked to him for a long time. I don’t know how it’s going to work, we have the same managers. I rather not to talk about it now. When we get there, we’ll figure it out.”

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