Machida may be a great fighter, but his slow, plodding counter-punching style makes him a bore to watch at times, and that directly impacts PPV sales.
"Does Lyoto Machida deserve another title shot? Absolutely. Is he a great fighter? Absolutely. I'm in on the business; I'm in on the pay-per-view (PPV). So is Jon Jones, but neither of us want to fight him because he can't draw flies," Sonnen said. "That's the bottom line. He got booed tonight; he got booed in his last fight. I can't sellout an arena with you; I can't sell PPV's with you. I'm not giving him the shot. Alexander Gustaffson, Gegard Mousasi, step up and I'll take the winner."
UFC President Dana White thinks Machida did enough in his UFC 157 fight against Dan Henderson to warrant a title shot.
"There is no doubt that Machida is the number one contender - he just beat Dan Henderson, who was the number one contender," White explained. "He won. Listen, Dan Henderson is a tough guy. Durable guy. He did land some good shots, but Machida pulled out the split decision win."
However, White agrees with fans that the Henderson vs Machida bout wasn't exactly action-packed.
"Oh, it was a spectacular fight, tons of action! Action-packed from bell-to-bell," White sarcastically told Ariel Helwani on the UFC 157 post-fight show on FUEL TV. "C'mon! The fight didn't live up to the hype. Neither one of them did anything the last three minutes of the third round."
If Sonnen takes out Jon Jones at UFC 159 in New Jersey, he'll be expected to fight Machida. Sonnen says he prefers to fight the winner of the upcoming tilt between Gegard Mousasi and Alexander Gustafsson.