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UFC 173: Lyoto Machida Excited For Chance To Face Chris Weidman

UFC 173: Lyoto Machida Excited For Chance To Face Chris Weidman

Come May, it will be Lyoto Machida and not Vitor Belfort stepping inside the Octagon to challenge Chris Weidman for the middleweight title at UFC 173.

UFC officials announced the change recently, and despite still being medically suspended, Machida plans to be 100-percent and ready to go come Memorial Day Weekend.

Machida has just two fights at middleweight, but owns wins over Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi. He is also a former UFC light heavyweight champion, having won the belt from Rashad Evans.

“I was at home when Ed Soares called me and said I would have the opportunity to fight for the belt,” said Machida, in an interview posted on UFC.com. “I’m still on vacation, enjoying my family. I was surprised with the decision, I didn’t expect this fight now, but I was also very happy for the chance.”

Machida is still rehabbing a foot injury suffered in his decision win over Mousasi, but stated he is no longer feeling any pain.

“I already walk normally and I’m walking a little faster now,” he added.

Being a friend and training partner of Anderson Silva’s, Machida watched closely the two times Weidman defeated “The Spider.”

“Chris is a well-rounded opponent with good cardio and an impressive will to win,” he said. “He can knock anyone out, has a good ground game and is ready to give a hard time in any kind of fighting style.”

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Fight Cards

Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko

Event Date: October 20, 2017
Broadcast: Spike

UFC Fight Night 118: Cerrone vs. Till

Event Date: October 21, 2017
Broadcast: TBD

UFC Fight Night 119: Brunson vs. Machida

Event Date: October 28, 2017
Broadcast: TBD

Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell

Event Date: November 3, 2017
Broadcast: Spike

UFC 217: Bisping vs. St-Pierre

Event Date: November 4, 2017
Broadcast: PPV, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 187: McKee vs. Moore

Event Date: November 10, 2017
Broadcast: Spike