“Sugar” Rashad Evans (13-0-1) will defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Title for the first time on May 23rd at UFC 98 against Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (14-0). The bout replaces a postponed title fight between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir after Mir had to pull out due to injury.
Both Evans and Machida are undefeated. Machida has won six straight fights in the UFC. Evans has won eight straight fights in the UFC with one draw thrown in there against Tito Ortiz. Both guys have had their share of decisions in their career but as they progress, they are beginning to finish more opponents.
Rashad is coming off big wins over Bisping, Liddell, and Griffin. While Machida just took out Sokoudjou, Ortiz, and Silva. This match up will pit Rashad’s speed and power against Machida’s elusiveness and accuracy.
It is very rare fighters make it thirteen and fourteen fights with no losses at the level these two are fighting. They both are rare breeds. One thing is for sure, one of these fighters will no longer be undefeated after this match.
After defeating Keith Jardine (14-5-1) at UFC 96, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (30-7) originally earned first crack at Evans’ Light Heavyweight Title. However, due to injury and a scheduled jaw surgery Jackson will now face the winner of Machida and Evans.
This may have worked out better for Jackson since now he will only face either Evans OR Machida. Whereas, if he got first shot at Evans and won, his initial title defense would have likely been Machida. This way he theoretically only has to fight one of these beasts.
Props – UFC.com
By: Jack Bratcher