I think it's just a case of giving Lyoto a fight to stay in shape, collect some dough, and warm up for the winner between The Viking and Bones.
Then what was the point in setting up Machida/Hendo? Their reasoning at the time was it was the 2 guys who most deserved it and we would see who gets that shot. People wanted Hendo to get in there and were upset that he was injured off 151. Some people were yelling for a Machida rematch.
Then Machida wins that fight how we all expected him too and no one gets that shot? Machida actually get a guy ranked 5 or 6 spots lower than he is?
There was just no point in that Hendo/Machida fight. Dana probably got mad at the outcome...yet everyone and their mother knew if he won it would be an outside, uneventful, decision.
The matchmaking has been awful. Instead of Hendo vs. Tex/Lil Nog/Shogun 2/Mousasi/Thiago Silva fights we all know would be talked about a while afterwards. They give him 2 fights that will were forgotten in a week.
Fights like Hendo/SHogun 1 breed hype/media coverage/rematches/anticipation. The UFC has been dumb not to take advantage of those matchups.
Machida/Hendo was a waste of time. It proved a 42 year old man can't keep up with the most elusive fighter in the UFC. It was a crap fight that no one cared for. And it didn't even produce a #1 contender.
And if their sole purpose for this potential snoozefest is to just keep Machida busy, then they are dumb. The card won't sell. No one cares about Machida/Phil. They hit a peek in interest because they totally suck at creating great matchups anymore.