It is now official, Lyoto Machida will be facing Rashad Evans for the light-heavyweight championship belt on May 23 replacing the Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar bout that was scrapped due to a Frank Mir knee injury. The UFC made it official on their website today fin a release that included this quote from UFC president Dana White.
With 32 wins and no losses between them, this may end up being one of
the most memorable UFC title fights of all time, said UFC President
Dana White. Neither guy has learned how to lose yet, and Im
interested to see if Rashad is the first fighter to figure out
Machidas style, as well as if Machida can withstand the striking power
and wrestling of Rashad. The winner of this one is truly the best 205
pounder on the planet.
While it is true that the winner will be considered one of the best of all time, this is not the match-up that the UFC brass had hoped for. With the smack talk that followed Jackson's victory over Evan's teammate Keith Jardine a Jackson vs. Evans fight would have been a more marketable match-up and would surely have sold more PPV buys. As it is, two undefeated fighters will face off and after May 23 only one of the two will remain undefeated.
The full card is as follows.
Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida
Matt Huges vs. Matt Serra
Yushin Okami vs. Dan Miller
Sean Sherk vs. Frankie Edgar
James Irvin vs. Drew McFedries
Phillipe Nover vs. Kyle Bradley
Pat Berry vs. Tim Hague
Houston Alexander vs. Andre Gusmao
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Brandon Wolff
Dave Kaplan vs. George Roop