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Machida: I’d take Belfort but want Bisping

UFC middleweight Lyoto Machida turns 40 in May. Middleweight Vitor Belfort turns 41 in April. former Middleweight champ Michael Bisping turned 38 in February. Bisping says he wants one more fight before he retires.

It was widely believed that Bisping’s final fight would be at UFC Fight Night 127 on March 17 in London, England. However, The Count recently announced that that’s not happening. After taking a split decision over Eryk Anders at UFC Fight Night 125 on Saturday night, Machida called out Bisping. At the post-fight press conference, he reiterated the desire to fight Bisping, said he would also fight Vitor Belfort, and discussed the narrow win.

“I was very happy to fight at home, and Eryk’s a very tough opponent,” said Machida, as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting. “I think that I was able to control the fight and land more punches. He kept the pressure on, but I think that it’s a matter of who can connect more shots.

“Of course, there’s always doubts [about the decision]. You don’t know how the judges interpreted the fight, if they were looking at who kept the pressure or who landed more shots, so there’s always definitely some doubt.”

“[Bisping] is a fight that should’ve happened a couple times and it didn’t. I think we both matured together in this sport, so I think fight between Michael Bisping and myself would mean a lot. He might retire sometime soon, I could retire sometime soon, and people asked for that fight, so it’s a fight that interests me.”

“If I had a choice, I’d rather not fight someone from Brazil, but as a professional, I couldn’t say no [to Belfort]. I would rather fight a foreigner, but Vitor is a guy who’s done a lot and he’s a great fighter, and I couldn’t say no.”

“I don’t want to be in this sport just to participate. I want to be in this to win, and that’s what motivates me every day to break down barriers and to get better every time, and to exceed my limits and to win fights.

“I want to keep moving, [taking] steps forward, and I want to keep winning fights and getting closer to the title.”

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