As he enters the Palace Arena in Auburn Hills, Michigan, this Saturday the 20th, Lyoto Machida will feel a different sensation from what he’s ever experienced before: it will be the first time he enters the octagon following a loss.
Following his loss of invincibility to Mauricio Shogun, the “Dragon” will face off with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 123.
The evening also marks the promotional debut of Brazil’s Maiquel Falcão, who faces the USA’s Gerald Harris, and a welterweight rubber match between Matt Hughes and BJ Penn.
“The athlete has to prove something in every fight. It’s my career that is on the line, so I’ll have to prove what I can do,” states Machida. “You can say whatever you want until the octagon gate is closed. Ater that, anything can happen. Especially at this level of competition,” he adds.
“Rampage” is known for his forthright manner of addressing his opponents and he has openly stated he is no fan of Machida’s style of fighting. To the Brazilian, none of that matters to someone who is already a winner.
“Each to his own. I became champion with this style and that’s how I feel comfortable. Furthermore, I don’t want ‘Rampage’ to be my fan,” he declared. Despite his last fight, Lyoto holds an impressive 16w, 1l record, while Quinton Jackson, who comes into the fight following a loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 114, holds a record of 30 wins and eight losses.
UFC 123 is a special event for Maiquel Falcão, who will make his promotional debut against Gerald Harris. “It’s a dream come true,” he says. The twenty-nine-year-old fighter has spent the last two years training at Chute Boxe, in Curitiba, Brazil, and is unintimidated with the “Hurricane’s” three-fight knockout-win streak in the UFC. “That really doesn’t impress me. I’m coming off a much more expressive series of knockouts,” explains the Brazilian, who believes in the training he underwent for the fight: “My training has been very focused on this bout.”
Now what do you think, who’ll win at UFC 123? Leave your prediction below.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida
Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn
Maiquel Falcao vs. Gerald Harris
Tim Boetsch vs. Phil Davis
Joe Lauzon vs. George Sotiropoulos
Preliminaries (not on live TV broadcast)
Mark Munoz vs. Aaron Simpson
Matt Brown vs. Brian Foster
Dennis Hallman vs. Karo Parisyan
Mike Lullo vs. Edson Barboza
Paul Kelly vs. T.J. O’Brien
Nik Lentz vs. Tyson Griffin