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UFC notebook: Lyoto Machida contemplates next move, talks karate tournament in Vegas

Site announced for first UFC on Fox Sports 1 card



Lyoto Machida battles during his UFC 157 light-heavyweight match in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Machida won by split decision against Dan Henderson after the third round.

After Lyoto Machida defeated Dan Henderson at UFC 157, he muttered two words repeatedly more than anything else — “title shot.”

Machida was determined to earn a chance at reclaiming the light heavyweight belt he previously held three years ago and failed to take away from Jon Jones in December 2011. Now that he’s officially earned the championship bout, however, Machida has lightened his tone.

“I want to fight for the belt, but if there’s another opportunity, I don’t want to wait for a long time,” Machida said through a translator. “I would possibly fight if there was another opportunity.”

The Brazilian didn’t go into any specifics, but it’s tough to figure who else the UFC might match him against at this point. The other nine 205-pound fighters in the top 10 of the UFC rankings are booked for another fight.

Machida has previously spoken of a desire to fight at middleweight, but it’s not clear who in the 185-pound division would entice him to make the weight cut.

For now, Machida is hoping to attend the title fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 next month to see how it plays out.

“I think Jon Jones is the favorite,” Machida said. “But anything can happen in a fight.”

Ozawa Cup on tap for Saturday at Flamingo

The next Lyoto Machida could be competing in Las Vegas this weekend.

America’s largest karate tournament, an international event featuring more than 500 competitors from 20 countries, takes place tomorrow at the Flamingo. Machida, who used his karate background to rise to stardom in the octagon, grew up attending countless similar events.

“Training for those competitions and training for karate in general is much like preparing for any profession,” Machida said. “You train like a professional athlete and see what it takes by building character and discipline. The discipline it taught me and the way it brought me up, I’m proud of where it’s taken me.”

The head of the tournament, Sensei James Tawatao, runs the Las Vegas Shotokan Karate dojo. Shotokan, the least popular form of karate, is the same style Machida came up with.

Machida’s style is popularly referred to as “unorthodox,” but not to Tawatao or those at the Ozawa Cup.

“When he does things, movements, you say, ‘Oh yeah, right,’ because we know exactly what he is doing,” Tawatao said. “He’s a traditional karate martial artist who transferred into mixed martial arts but still uses his background extensively.”

Tawatao guessed that several of the top karate students at the Ozawa Cup would someday try to transition to mixed martial arts. Machida agreed.

“It’s a big deal for a lot of people because they look forward to this competition all year,” Tawatao said. “Typically, karate tournaments are very local and only people around the area come. But this one is global.”

The Ozawa Cup will last nearly 12 hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and costs $10 to attend.

UFC returning to Boston

Earlier this month, Fox announced that the launch date of its new Fox Sports 1 network would feature a UFC card on the new cable network.

Now the Aug. 17 event has an official location. UFC President Dana White announced via twitter Friday afternoon that it would be in Boston.

“We are bringing a sick card,” White tweeted, though no fights were revealed.

The promotion has only staged one other night of fights in Beantown, which was UFC 118 in August 2010 when Frankie Edgar defeated B.J. Penn in a rematch and Randy Couture submitted James Toney.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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