After losing a decision to Phil Davis at UFC 163, it seems that Lyoto Machida is looking for a change of pace. He’ll be dropping down to 185 to face the former Strikeforce title contender and Special Forces Green Beret Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight for the Troops 3 in November.
The announcement was made official earlier today via Twitter and Dana White’s appearance on Fox Sports Live.
“Lyoto Machida is moving down to middleweight to face Tim Kennedy in the next Fight For The Troops on @FOXSports1 on 11/6″—Dana White
— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) August 22, 2013
Despite his recent loss, Machida is still a very highly ranked light heavyweight, making this move especially surprising. Prior to UFC 163, Machida had bested Dan Henderson and Ryan Bader, following a title shot defeat at the hands of Jon Jones. He currently holds a 19-4 record.
Tim Kennedy is coming off of back to back wins against Trevor Smith and Roger Gracie, the latter of which was his UFC debut. However, losses to Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza in Strikeforce are a big factor in why he is not ranked higher in the division.
A win over Machida would mean a lot for his UFC career, but would likely not get him much closer to a title shot against Weidman/Silva, making this a very strange match up overall. He is currently 16-4.
UFC Fight for the Troops 3 will take place on November 6 on the Fort Campbell Army base in Kentucky. This venue is particularly fitting considering that Tim Kennedy is an active United States Special Forces sniper.
The last Fight for the Troops event took place in January 2011, and featured a headline bout between Melvin Guillard and Evan Dunham.