Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has decided to move down to 185. At the age of 35, the Brazilian born fighter has had mixed results in the last few years. Since 2010, he has gone 3-4 after starting his career at a perfect 16-0. Two of those loss came in title fights where he was knocked out by Mauricio Rua and choked unconscious by Jon Jones. He looked to be back on his way to another title shot after wins over Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson, but a split decision loss to Phil Davis left him back at the drawing board.
The drop in weight class has helped other fighters get a title shot in just one fight. Look at Kenny Florian, diego Sanchez and Urijah Faber as examples. In his first fight, he will be taking on Tim Kennedy who was another fight that Vitor Belfort turned down, just like Machida. If Anderson wins the belt back it may stymie Machida’s hope of a title shot in his new weight class, but if Weidman does retain the belt a former champion is always an intriguing matchup for freshly crowned champions.
Machida will not have the crowd behind him in this fight though, because he will be taking on Kennedy in front of a crowd of armed forces. The two will be facing off at the third iteration of the Fight for the Troops that the UFC has put on before. Kennedy is known for his history in the military as a former green beret in the military that has imbued him with many skills he uses in the Octagon. Plus, he will not want to lose in front of people that are pulling for a former armed forces member to beat Machida.