Hot on the heels of yesterday’s (August 19, 2014) announcement that former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez had signed with the UFC and would face Donald Cerrone in the co-main event of September 27’s UFC 178 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, another top-level match-up could be headed our way soon.
Speaking on tonight’s UFC Tonight, No. 1-ranked light heavyweight contender Daniel Cormier revealed that a bout between his teammate Luke Rockhold and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida is in the works for a card later this year:
“Listen, guys, I can’t fight in September, so I’m giving you something here. Luke Rockhold vs. Lyoto Machida. This fight is being discussed, both guys want the fight; we know Lyoto asked for it earlier. Luke’s very open to the fight; the fight is being discussed internally.
They don’t have a place for it yet, but I got two options for the UFC: UFC on FOX in Phoenix, great main event, or you throw ‘em on the pay-per-vie with Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort. You get two guys that look phenomenal; the fight builds itself.
Luke Rockhold vs. Lyoto Machida, coming at you.”
Ariel Helwani soon appeared to add fuel to the fire:
“I just spoke to a source very close to Lyoto Machida, and he told me, ‘Anytime, anywhere.’ They love that fight, they think that the UFC might want to book that fight in November in Brazil, so you’re plan of having it in the United States may not happen, but they’re very interested in that fight, they would take it gladly.”
No. 2-ranked Machida was last seen losing a war to middleweight champion Weidman in the main event of July 5’s UFC 175 from Las Vegas. The first three rounds of the bout saw Weidman largely dominate with his pressure-heavy style, but Machida came thundering back with a fourth round barrage that nearly finished the champ.
But Weidman persevered, showing the heart of a true champion to come back in the fifth to lock up the unanimous decision.
Machida had previously won his only two bouts at middleweight, knocking out former training partner Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30 in England before outpointing Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 36 in February.
Rockhold has looked flawless after losing his Octagon debut to a vicious Vitor Belfort spinning kick at UFC on FX 8, knocking out Costa Philippou at UFC Fight Night 35 and easily submitting Tim Boetsch at April’s UFC 172 from Baltimore.
Rockhold wants a shot at revenge against Belfort, and he may get it if “The Phenom” can get pat Weidman and Rockhold upsets Machida.
It’s an unlikely scenario, but it would be quite the heated match-up if Rockhold and Belfort ended up having their rematch for the belt.
Stay tuned to LowKick MMA for any new developments on this rumored blockbuster bout between two top-ranked middleweights.
Photo: Tommy Gilligan for USA TODAY Sports