Set as the co-main event bout on UFC 163 main card in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis will fight in a very important bout in the light-heavyweight division. Previously labeled as the “number one contender”, Lyoto Machida has been due for another title shot for some time now. With a solid two fight winning streak under his belt, Machida’s shot at the gold eluded him for another time, forcing Machida into yet another fight to defend his number one contendership.
Opposite of Machida will be the powerful Phil Davis, an extremely strong and athletic grappler who is also on a 2-fight winning streak. While Davis may not have the experience and resume that Machida has, he is a very dangerous opponent who is very hungry to crack the top ranks of the 205lb division – a win over Machida would more-than satisfy that desire, and more importantly free up the “next in line” position for the belt.
Right now, with Alexander Gustafsson scheduled in a title fight against the champ Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida is on the outside, looking in. Many fans want to see a rematch between Machida and Jones as Lyoto has been the first person to put Jones in any danger, and the only person to win a round over him by staggering him on the feet courtesy of Machida’s superior striking skills. Even though it’s a rematch that almost seems destined to happen, Phil Davis most certainly has other plans. A loss to Phil Davis would send Machida crashing down through the rankings, as he would be surpassed by “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis, and most likely Glover Teixeira as well. Ontop of that, we have an interesting bout between Mauricio Rua and Chael Sonnen – the winner of this could also be set ahead of Machida if “The Dragon” happens to lose.
As you can see, this fight has some heavy consequences tied to it. A victory here would only re-assure Machida’s position in the division, and set himself up for a title shot against the Gustafsson/Jones winner – a shot that Machida has already been believed to be inevitably getting, with or without a victory against Phil Davis.
Machida may get lots of hate for his non-aggressive fighting style, but this man loves to fight and I think this really shows it. While many other fighters like to “wait it out” in situations like this, Machida is putting his position on the line against a fight who doesn’t really have much to lose in a bout like this. An impressive victory, given the odds, for Machida would definitely gain my respect as it should yours as well.