MANILA, Philippines – Former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida may be the top contender for the title, but Chael Sonnen has no intention of giving “The Dragon” a title shot should he dethrone reigning champion Jon Jones this April.
Sonnen will battle “Bones” for the UFC light-heavyweight championship on April 27, but UFC president Dana White has already announced that Machida will receive a shot against the winner.
This, despite Machida’s lackluster split decision victory against Dan Henderson in the co-main event of UFC 157.
“There is no doubt that Machida is the No. 1 contender. He just beat Dan Henderson, who was the No. 1 contender,” White said, as quoted by MMA Mania.
But according to Sonnen, neither him nor Jones is keen on giving Machida a shot at the light-heavyweight belt.
“Does Lyoto Machida deserve another title shot? Absolutely. Is he a great fighter? Absolutely,” Sonnen said in a separate MMA Mania report.
“I’m in on the business, I’m in on the pay-per-view. So is Jon Jones, but neither of us want to fight him (Machida) because he can’t draw flies. That’s the bottom line,” he said.
Sonnen pointed out that Machida was booed by the UFC crowd in his past two fights, including the fight against Henderson, which was uneventful.
“I can’t sell out an arena with you, I can’t sell PPVs with you. I’m not giving him the shot,” Sonnen said of Machida.
“Alexander Gustaffson, Gegard Mousasi – step up and I’ll take the winner,” he added.
Machida previously challenged Jones for the light-heavyweight belt at UFC 140 in December 2011, but was choked out by the champion in the second round.