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Machida Took the Fight with His Training Partner Munoz to Avoid Disappointing the UFC

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Photo via UFC.com / Getty Images

A middleweight game of musical chairs over the past few weeks has ended with Lyoto Machida facing Mark Munoz in the main event of UFC Fight Night 30.

It’s a strange match up considering prior to the announcement, Machida and Munoz had been training with each other for their respective opponents (Tim Kennedy for Machida and Michael Bisping for Munoz).

According to Machida, he took the bout because he didn’t want to disappoint the UFC.

“I thought for a while about it [when UFC offered the change], but I didn’t want to disappoint and frustrate the UFC,” he said in an interview with MMAFighting.com. “The date wasn’t that bad. I was already training hard for my fight, so I decided to take it. They were both main events, but this is a better one because Mark Munoz is better ranked and it’s not a [Fight For The Troops] card.”

Machida did admit that their training situation made things a little bit awkward, but he didn’t feel like it would make too much of a difference.

“We were training together so that’s a little complicated, but that’s inevitable here in California,” he said. “We always look for better training so we ended up training together. It’s complicated, but it’s tough for both of us. I’ve learned some things from his game, but he did too. Mark Munoz was always very friendly, gave me tips during trainings. We helped each other a lot. But we were training together, it’s not like he was teaching me. You test yourself a lot during sparring.”

Machida will face Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30 on October 26. It will be the Brazilian fighter’s middleweight debut.

Machida’s previous opponent, Tim Kennedy, will instead face Rafael Natal.