Gegard Mousasi asked and he received.
Lyoto Machida and the former Strikeforce and DREAM champion will face each other at a UFC fight card on Feb. 8 in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil, MMAWeekly.com confirmed with sources close to the fight on Friday and then the UFC later announced the fight as well.
Mousasi asked for the Machida fight following the former UFC titleholder’s recent win over Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30, in which he landed a headkick to win by knockout.
“I want to make an impact in the middleweight division and to fight the best contenders out there,” Mousasi told MMAWeekly.com last week. “I respect Machida and would like to test my stand-up against him. I believe a fight between us would determine the No.1 contender in the middleweight division. ‘The Dream Catcher vs. The Dragon’ sounds good to me. Let’s do it.”
Machida’s fight with Munoz was his debut at middleweight, and left notice that “The Dragon” is a formidable opponent for anyone at 185 pounds. UFC president Dana White commented on wanting to match him up with Vitor Belfort, but Machida’s camp was subsequently quoted as saying they didn’t believe Belfort would agree to the matchup, according to a report from UFC Tonight.
With Belfort out of the picture, Mousasi gets his wish.
For Machida, the fight is the first of a new eight-fight deal with the UFC. His manager, Ed Soares, later informed MMAWeekly.com of the deal, saying that they are “very happy” with the new contract. It is certainly a welcome turn of events for Machida, who, at 35 years of age, is in the twilight years of his career.
The last time the UFC came to Jaraguá do Sul was earlier this year, a UFC on FX card headlined by Belfort and Luke Rockhold.
The Machida vs. Mousasi showdown is expected to headline the Feb. 8 card, according to sources. No other match-ups have been confirmed for the card.
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