Coming off of an impressive debut at middleweight, former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will now face former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion, Gegard Mousasi in a clash of top-tier newcomers to the middleweight division on Feb. 8. The fight will be the main event in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil for the UFC on Fox Sports 2 event.
After Machida’s head kick dismantling of former top-5 middleweight Mark Munoz, many rumors began to fly across the internet about his next opponent. UFC President Dana White’s commented about a potential match with Vitor Belfort. However, that potential fight with the Belfort will now be placed on a backburner as we will wait to see what happens to the ranking over the next few months in the division.
Gegard Mousasi will be making his return to middleweight. This will be Mousasi’s second fight in the UFC and a large step up in competition compared to his last fight against an unranked Ilir Latiffi in which he won a unanimous decision on April 6.
This bout could have serious title implications in the middleweight division depending on the results of the Chris Weidman rematch with former Middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva.
The Dragon has now surged his way into the middleweight rankings and made it into the top-5 over the past week. Mousasi will be looking to move into the top-10 of the division if he can get a victory in this bout against Machida.
Currently, both Mousasi and Machida are ranked in the Light Heavyweight top-10.