Fresh off his successful middleweight debut, Lyoto Machida has his next assignment.
Machida (20-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC), a former UFC light heavyweight champion, will fight former Strikeforce 205-pound champGegard Mousasi (34-3-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the main event of a show expected to take place Feb. 8 in Brazil.
Globo.com first reported the fight booking for the card that is planned for Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil, and UFC officials later made a formal announcement.
The “Fight Night” card will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2. Sources close to the promotion on Friday told MMAjunkie.com it will not be the first “Fight Night” card of the 2014 UFC calendar.
Machida just this past week stopped Mark Munoz in the first round at UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester, England. A head kick did the job for a “Knockout of the Night” victory for “The Dragon” against his friend and sometimes training partner. Machida took the fight on a little more than a month’s notice, filling in for original headliner Michael Bisping when a detached retina and subsequent eye surgery forced “The Count” out of the fight in front of his home fans. Machida had been expected to face Tim Kennedy next week at “UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3,” but was pulled to save the card in England.
That win got Machida back in the win column after a controversial unanimous decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163 in August in Brazil. That was his first fight in his home country since April 2006, so he’ll be looking for his first UFC win in Brazil when he meets Mousasi.
Mousasi won his UFC debut in April after coming over from Strikeforce. He beat last-minute replacement Ilir Latifi in Sweden after Alexander Gustafsson was ruled out with a cut he suffered the week before the fight. Prior to that win, Mousasi, a former DREAM champ, had a six-fight unbeaten streak after losing his Strikeforce light heavyweight title to Muhammed Lawal in April 2010.