Lyoto Machida was as surprised as anybody to get the call to replace Vitor Belfort against middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173 May 24. "The Phenom" was set to challenge Weidman but says the UFC asked him to step aside after the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which will regulate the May 24 Vegas bout, banned testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which Belfort has been using for years.
"It was a surprise for me, I wasn’t expecting that," Machida told MMAFighting recently.
"I thought I would fight around June or July and got this news."
The former light heavyweight champion last fought and win Feb. 15 against Gegard Mousasi. He is still not cleared to train because of a medical suspension resulting from that bout, but believes that he will be soon and that he'll have enough time to prepare for Weidman.
"[Manager] Ed [Soares] called me and said ‘I think they had a problem with Vitor and you’ll have to fight for the title’," he said.
"I said, 'sure, that’s great.' I wasRead More »from Lyoto Machida expects to return to training next week