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Machida vs. Rockhold Set for UFC on Fox 15

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Middleweight mad men Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida vs. Luke Rockhold will serve as the headlining fight of UFC on Fox 15. Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting was first to report the face off taking place in Newark, New Jersey on April 18th.

(Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida stare down before UFC 175)

Lyoto Machida has gone 3-1 at middleweight, earning a fight bonus in every bout at the new weight class. His only loss came by way of unanimous decision against title holder Chris Weidman. Rebounding from the loss, he most recently made quick work of CB Dolloway at Fight Night 58, needing just over a minute to knock out his opponent with a powerful body kick and punches.

(Former Strikeforce Champion Luke Rockhold)

Luke Rockhold was undefeated in Strikeforce, beating the likes of Paul Bradley, Jacare Souza, Keith Jardine and Tim Kennedy. His entrance into the UFC was a rough one, losing to Vitor Belfort by a spinning heel kick KO. However, he has since finished Costas Phillippou, Tim Boetsch and Michael Bisping on his way up the middleweight ladder.

The Long Line at Middleweight

Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

They say it about every weight class, but the UFC middleweight division is teeming with contenders. Chris Weidman defends the title against Vitor Belfort at UFC 184 and if Anderson Silva defeats Nick Diaz, he will be granted the next shot at the title. Sure, the winner of Machida vs. Rockhold and Souza vs. Romero will move up, but how many times will they have to fight for the shot?

Good standing in the middleweight division is extremely difficult to achieve. Despite the accomplishments of the top dogs, Anderson Silva is back with only one fight standing in the path to the big dance. While Luke Rockhold vs. Lyoto Machida is unquestionably going to make for a great fight, there appears to be a lot more for both fighters to lose than to gain.