UFC FIGHT NIGHT 30: MACHIDA VS. MUNOZ Middleweight bout: Lyoto Machida vs. Mark Munoz October 26 Phones 4u Arena Manchester, England UFC Middleweight Lyoto Machida (-380) Profile: Lyoto Machida is now 35-years old and three years removed from his short-lived title reign. Since losing to Mauricio Rua in 2010, Machida has gone 3-3 inside the Octagon, losing to Rampage Jackson in a controversial decision, getting put to sleep by Jon Jones and most recently losing to Phil Davis via controversial unanimous decision in Brazil. He’s also looked spectacular in defeating Ryan Bader, and not so spectacular in defeating Dan Henderson, so he’s officially moved down to middleweight, a place where he has perhaps belonged for years. Machida was initially set to fight Tim Kennedy in his inaugural middleweight bout, but has since stepped in to fight former Black House teammate Mark Munoz at the end of October. UFC Middleweight Mark Munoz (+260) Profile: Mark Munoz (13-3) is 8-2 in his last ten fights and 8-3 in the UFC, but he has only fought twice in the last two years, and is only one fight removed from a brutal knockout loss at the hands and elbows of middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC on FUEL TV 4. Munoz was viewed as one of the top middleweights up until that point, and his loss played a big role in Weidman vaulting to the top and earning a title shot against champion Anderson Silva. The 35-year old veteran was riding a four-fight winning streak before losing to Weidman, beating Demian Maia at UFC 131 and Aaron Simpson at UFC 123 by unanimous decision and knocking out C.B. Dollaway at UFC on Versus 3, in addition to second round TKO win over Chris Leben at UFC 138. After his loss to Weidman, Munoz fell into a deep depression, ballooning up to 260 pounds. But The Filipino Wrecking Machine came back to reality in his training camp for Tim Boetsch, and returned to the Octagon looking more dominant than ever, absolutely brutalizing Tim Boetsch with his signature ground and pound at UFC 162. All was set for another rise in the middleweight ranks for Munoz, as he was preparing to take on Michael Bisping in the UK, but Bisping had to pull out of the fight with an eye injury, and instead popped Lyoto Machida, making his middleweight debut. Opening UFC Futures Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Machida a -380 favorite (bet $380 to win $100) while Munoz is a +260 underdog (bet $100 to win $260) at Several Bookmakers. It’s hard not to like Machida in this spot, as the elite striker has historically been a nightmare match-up for wrestlers and Munoz has been knocked out on multiple occasions before. But the difference this time around is that “The Dragon” will be competing for the first time at 185 pounds and we have no idea how the weight cut will go for him. Since he was a smaller light heavyweight, one can assume that Machida will have no problem making 185, but we can’t know for sure until he actually steps on the scale, and even then we have no idea how his body will react to the cut in the fight. What if the cut goes bad and Machida gasses out during the fight? If he gasses out against a wrestling powerhouse like Munoz, there could definitely be an upset in store this fall. But we’ll have to wait another month to find out, and I’m excited.