“The Dragon” is back.
Following an 18-month suspension, former champion Lyoto Machida is ready to resume his career as he faces Derek Brunson in a middleweight main event headed to Sao Paolo, Brazil on Oct. 28.
UFC officials announced the matchup on Monday.
Machida (22-7) returns after he was suspended by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) for 18 months after he admitted to taking a banned substance prior to his last scheduled fight against Dan Henderson in 2016.
Machida will officially return to eligibility in early October and the UFC wasted no time booking the former champion in his next fight.
It will be a big moment for Machida not only because he’s coming back from suspension but he’s also looking to stave off a dreaded three fight losing streak after dropping consecutive bouts to Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero.
Meanwhile, Brunson (17-5) will step into his second UFC main event while looking to build on his first round knockout against Dan Kelly from June.
The fight with Machida will also serve as the first on a new contract for Brunson, who just recently inked a new deal with the UFC ahead of his bout in Brazil.
UFC Fight Night in Brazil will air live on FS1 on Oct. 28 with more fights to be announced in the coming weeks.