Chuck Liddell doesn’t think so. But rather than play the “He’s boring” card like most other people do, he’s citing the lack of competition Machida has faced:
“He beat tito and who else? Sokoudjou? So did Glover (Glover Teixeira, another fighter from The Pit – FL), so does Glover get a title shot? Machida’s though and he’s a great fighter, but have him fight a couple more top guys. I enjoy watching him, he’s a good technical fighter and he scores and doesn’t get scored on. He’s got knockouts (1 KO – FL) and he’s landed hard shots and I think he mixes it up when he needs to.”
I suppose you can argue that Machida hasn’t beaten many fighters of high regard in the UFC. Sam Hoger, David Heath, Nakamura, Sok, and Tito – three of those guys have washed out of the UFC, one is still unproven and one is past his prime. When you’re in the Light Heavyweight division, it makes sense that you better beat the top guys in the division before you can start asking for a title shot. Thiago Silva is up there, but you get the feeling that Chuck would still rank a win over Rashad Evans as a bigger deal than Machida beating Silva. In the end, I don’t think it would matter if Machida had already wiped out the rest of the LHW division … Chuck would still be demanding his shot first.