"The Dragon" returns to the Octagon on Feb. 8 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, against Gegard Mousasi, and he needs a win to keep chasing the middleweight title.
"Mousasi is a tough fighter, I’ve seen his fights before and he won titles in other promotions, but I will only focus on his game in my last four or five weeks of camp," Machida said during a Q&A with the fans in Goiania, Brazil on Wednesday.
"He is right below me in the UFC rankings and a win over him would make me achieve even more in this division. But if I lose this fight, it would be complicated. I would fall from fifth place to hell [laughs]," Machida said.
Machida believes he could earn a shot at the middleweight title with a win over Mousasi, a former DREAM and Strikeforce champion who returns to the middleweight division after going 7-1-1 as a light-heavyweight.
"I'm ready (to fight for the title) already, but I have to follow the rankings," he said. "I don’t like to rush things. The right moment will come. I want to keep fighting because it's important for me to keep this rhythm. I want to feel well in this division, this is my place."
Anderson Silva, Machida’s teammate, fights Chris Weidman on Dec. 28 for the middleweight belt at UFC 168, and "The Dragon" doesn’t plan to fight another friend inside the Octagon.
"He said he would never fight me, that we are like brothers," Machida said. "Anderson told me he has other goals, that he was the champion for a long time and he's focused on other goals now, like superfights. He said he would even leave the title to not fight me.
"But we’ll see what happens. I still have to fight Gegard Mousasi in Jaragua do Sul, in February, and I want to think on this fight first. One step at a time."
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