In the main event at UFC on FOX: Machida vs. Rockhold, former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (22-5 MMA; 14-5 UFC) faces former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (13-2 MMA; 3-1 UFC). This five round Middleweight fight caps off the four fight UFC Fight Night main card. The UFC Rankings have Machida as the #2 contender at 185 pounds, with Rockhold at #4. UFC on FOX: Machida vs. Rockhold airs live from Newark, New Jersey this Saturday, April 18. The main card airs on Fox with a fight time of 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT, with the prelims starting at 6:00 p.m. ET on Fox and 4:30 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.
The main event here is an excellent one as those rankings demonstrate. Two top 5 fighters meeting with title implications on the line? Sign me up. Both Machida and Rockhold could easily become the next challenger to the Weidman/Belfort winner, though Jacare certainly has a claim there as well. Both of these men are 3-1 in the UFC Middleweight division, both are excellent strikers, both are strong all around fighters. That’s a recipe for an excellent, exciting fight.
How do these two stack up?
Machida: 36 years old | 6’1″ | 74″ reach
Rockhold: 30 years old | 6’3″ | 77″ reach
What have these two done recently?
Machida: W – C.B. Dollaway (TKO) | L – Chris Weidman (UD) | W – Gegard Mousasi (UD)
Rockhold: W – Michael Bisping (Sub) | W – Tim Boetsch (Sub) | W – Costas Philippou (TKO)
How did these two get here?
Now an amazing 8 years into his UFC career, the Dragon has done it all inside the Octagon. He’s won gold, he’s looked like a potential pound for pound king, and he’s been written off more than once. Ever since his loss to Shogun Rua, it’s been tempting to say Machida is just about done, but he keeps proving those expectations wrong. His 2013 drop to Middleweight has been a tremendous success, with his lone MW loss coming in a hard fought battle with the champion. In his last fight, he absolutely destroyed C.B. Dollaway – a fighter like Rockhold who was looking at a run to the top. Machida stopped that dead with a brutal body kick. Will he do it again here?
Luke Rockhold has spent virtually his entire career competing at a high level. Outside of his first 2 pro fights he’s fought entirely in Strikeforce and the UFC. There’s he’s gone a very impressive 12-1, undefeated in Strikeforce and winning their Middleweight title, and losing only to Vitor Belfort. He’s looked great since that loss, stopping every opponent he’s faced, culminating in a submission win over Michael Bisping last fall – the first time anyone has managed to submit the veteran Bisping. Rockhold is an AKA trainee who has virtually no holes in his game, and is absolutely a potential future world champion.
Why should you care?
Like I said, two top 5 guys fighting with a possible title shot on the line. If that’s not enough, it’s also a great stylistic match-up.
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