Lyoto Machida fights UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 173 on May 24, in Las Vegas, NV.
Machida spoke with MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz about how he got there, and what he thinks is going to happen.
"It was a surprise for me, I wasn’t expecting that," said Machida. "I thought I would fight around June or July and got this news."
"(Manager Ed Soares) called me and said ‘I think they had a problem with Vitor and you’ll have to fight for the title.' I said 'sure, that’s great.'
"I was already slowly returning to training. I’m still suspended, but I believe I’ll be completely cleared to return to training next week. I’m always active, so it helps my performance."
"I’ve fought a lot of wrestlers before, and I know Weidman has a good wrestling, but I’m confident on the work I’m developing with my team. I believe in my striking game against Weidman’s wrestling. He’s complete in every aspect of the game, but I’m confident in what I do."
"I got to a stage in my career where I’m more focused in what I’m doing than in what people bet or what is Weidman training. That’s what matters. The experience that I have and what I’ve done makes me more comfortable in a situation like this."