Lyoto Machida’s next assignment at middleweight will come in his native Brazil against Gegard Mousasi on February 8th.
The five round bout will headline the ‘Fight Night’ card and will air live from the Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sulon, Brazil.
Machida is coming off a spectacular head kick KO of Mark Munoz in October in the UK and another victory could see him fast-tracked into title contention in the 185lb division.
As for Mousasi, this will be his debut at middleweight following a UFC debut victory over Illya Latifi at light-heavyweight earlier this year.
The former Strikeforce 205lb champion has been out of action since then recovering from knee surgery and is now keen to establish 185lbs as his new home.
Prior to this bout being announced Machida had been calling for a fight with his fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort. Mousasi had a similar plan earlier in the year which ‘The Phenom’ had dismissed, and so more recently he had declared that he wanted to “make an impact” in the division by facing Machida.
This should be an interesting fight. Machida’s elusive style continues to be a big puzzle for many of his opponent, but Mousasi is a very talented striker who’s had success against high-level kickboxers during his fighting career, so he’s well equipped to give ‘The Dragon’ a real run for his money, and a win here would be the perfect opportunity to really put himself on the map in the UFC.