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Lyoto Machida wants five fights, then Brock Lesnar

Lyoto Machida makes me proud to be a fan and observer of this sport. He's respectful, appreciative and the ignition for the most talked-about platform shift in fighting sports since Royce Gracie began choking out people with his thighs.

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Speaking with Sherdog.com's Marcelo Alonso, Machida explained that if he defends his belt five times, he wants an opportunity to face Brock Lesnar.

"My focus is on my class, but in the future I would like to do a couple of [heavyweight] fights, like Brock Lesnar," Machida said. "I respect Brock Lesnar as a fighter, but I know I can fight with him. Brock Lesnar is a big challenge for me because he's a big guy, very strong, very fast. For me, I like the challenge."

Painfully ambitious guy. Lesnar-Machida, if it ever happens, could represent the largest-scale style-versus-style match in the sport's history. There's probably no way Lesnar could tag Machida standing, but I would have a hard time imagining Machida could get out from underneath Lesnar. That's not a character flaw: He couldn't out-grapple a Kodiak bear, either, but I don't hold it against him.

Said before but maybe worth repeating: Machida is a new incarnation of Rickson Gracie, a near-mythical fighter whose value comes from a seemingly flawless execution of a house style. Thankfully for fans, Machida is actually interested in fighting.