This past Saturday night Lyoto Machida closed out 2014 with an impressive first round TKO victory over C.B. Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 58. Even though Machida was a heavy favorite heading into the bout, it was impossible to predict just how dominant he would be. But while this victory is a nice notch on his belt, Machida is currently in no man’s land.

Machida is now one fight removed from a failed UFC middleweight title bid and while he was competitive in spots champion, Chris Weidman dominated that fight. With that loss still very fresh in the minds of fans and the UFC brass, Machida isn’t going to be getting another shot at the title anytime soon.

The problem with that is Machida is 36 years old and he only has another year, two at the most, of prime fighting years left. Considering he has avoided a lot of damage over the course of his career and maybe he has some more time than that, but it is unlikely; age is undefeated in the Octagon.

Given that a middleweight title shot is unlikely, Machida could move back up to light heavyweight, but that would be a terrible move at this point in his career. The light heavyweight division is filled with killers and while Machida would still be a solid top 10 caliber fighter, he would not be able to beat the division’s very best.

This isn’t an uncommon problem for fighters like Machida; former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin found himself in the exact same spot just a few years ago. Like Franklin, Machida needs to accept UFC gold is no longer in his future and become the fighter that carriers ‘Fight Night’ cards and weak pay-per-views for the company.

Machida is still a fighter fans want to watch and there are plenty of interesting matchups out there for him, but he needs to understand what his place in the organization is today. The role may not be glamorous but someone has to do it and Lyoto Machida is the man for the job.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.

  • uugr3

    Idioticness

  • jojo

    U should understand where your place is. How about the uneducated worthless opinion section.

  • jojo

    Machida is a beast