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Dana White: Machida could be next for title shot with win Feb. 15

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Machida finishing Ryan Bader (Photo by Tracy Lee)

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida made a big splash in the middleweight division last October when he knocked out contender Mark Munoz in the first round. "The Dragon" next fights Gegard Mousasi Feb. 15 at UFC Fight Night 36 in Brazil.

According to a recent interview with Fox Sports Live (below), UFC president Dana White says that should Machida beat Mousasi, he may very well be next in line for a crack at the middleweight title.

"If Lyoto Machida wins, he could be in line next for a title shot," White said.

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman next defends his belt in May against Vitor Belfort. For the first time in years, the middleweight division seems a bit more wide open since long time champ Anderson Silva lost his belt last July to Weidman and then lost a rematch in December.

"The thing that makes this 185-pound division so interesting and so exciting right now," White went on.

"Obviously, Chris Weidman looked unbelievable in his two fights against Anderson Silva and the new champ," White said.

"But who do we got waiting in the wings now? You've got Vitor Belfort next, you have Jacare Souza, you have Lyoto Machida and the list goes on and on of all these nasty, nasty guys at 185 pounds. And let's not forget Anderson Silva could be back in a year and he's the No. 1 ranked [contender] in the world. That division could not be more exciting."

Do you think Machida would be the best contender for the middleweight strap if he beats Mousasi? Let us know in the comments section.

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