Lyoto Machida recently talked to TATAME about the upcoming Jardine vs. Jackson fight, as well as his future plans. If you haven’t guessed it already, Machida is hoping for a ‘Dean of Mean’ victory at UFC 96, but realizes a ‘Rampage’ victory is a bit more likely.

I’m cheering for Jardine, but I think that Quinton is stronger, hits harder. I think Quinton is the favorite. I think I’ll have to wait a bit more.

UFC management is no doubt hoping for a Jackson win as well, since Rampage is money and all. The past also indicates that fighters like Jackson — those who are always pushing forward and hit really fucking hard, like Houston and Wanderlei — are kryptonite to Jardine. But let us not forget that whenever the UFC has big future plans, Jardine comes in and fucks shit up in EPIC fashion — as evidenced by his upset wins over Forrest and Chuck.

If Jardine isn’t able to pull of the big upset for what would be the third time in recent memory, Machida knows he’ll have to wait even longer for a title shot. If that turns out to be the case, he doesn’t want anything to do with the Nakamuras, Sokodjous, or Thiago Silvas of the world — he wants an opponent with some real name value.

I could do one more fight, but only if [the UFC] give me a good opponent, a man with strong name. I don’t want to go down again. All that the UFC putted, I always joined, but now is time for me to start to ask a bit too.

I’m pretty sure that last bit means that he’s always done what the company has asked of him but now it’s time he starts being able to make demands as well. And I think ‘the Dragon’ is spot on. Any fight Machida takes before a title shot needs to be against somebody who will raise his stock even further. If Jackson wins, look for Machida to take on the winner of the Liddell vs. Shogun match-up.

And don’t worry. Lyoto Machida is still having fun with all of this.

I just need to make good fights and [a title shot] will happen-When I get there, it will be just party.

Somebody needs to make “It will be just party” t-shirts with Lyoto’s Brazilian mug on ’em. We need those and some “Free Kimo” shirts. Somebody get on that. Pronto.