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Why Forrest Griffin Injury Could Be A Blessing In Disguise For Lyoto Machida

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It's being reported by the The Sun that Forrest Griffin could miss most or all of 2009 with a hand injury sustained in his fight against Rashad Evans.

Griffin was originally set to be out of action until May but industry insiders told SunSport he will not be back inside the Octagon until Autumn at the earliest.

This opens the door for Lyoto Machida to possibly fight for the UFC LHW title in 2009 provided he gets past Thiago Silva at UFC 94. While I have Machida as the #4 LHW in the world, he still hasn't fought the upper echelon of LHW fighters while in the UFC. His ranking is due mainly to winning the fights he has been given, and the other top fighters beating up one another. I've mentioned it before that a Machida win at UFC 94, in my opinion, isn't enough to grant him a title shot. Simply because Thiago Silva is pretty much unproven at the moment. However, Griffin's injury could now make that possible. Liddell, Wanderlei, and Jardine all need multiple wins to get themselves into title contention, with Silva possibly moving down to middleweight. Rashad Evans will probably face Rampage Jackson in his first title defense sometime this spring or summer.

Which in turn could possibly open the door for a Machida title shot sometime this fall. The only question is would the UFC put on a Evans/Machida fight if he beat Rampage. My guess is yes, as beating Liddell, Griffin, and Jackson in a row is a marketing tool all in itself. Not to mention both fighters would still be undefeated.