MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Machida/Rockhold In The Works

Luke RockholdAnother example of just how far the UFC’s middleweight division has come could be taking place soon. It was revealed yesterday that talks are underway for a bout between former UFC champion Lyoto Machida and former Strikeforce title holder Luke Rockhold. Both fighters are ranked amongst the top five in the division, and each is seen as one of the biggest challenges for current divisional kingpin Chris Weidman. For Machida, a bout with Rockhold would put him on the fast track to a rematch with Weidman — who defeated him in a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate in July. The 36-year-old dropped to middleweight just less a year ago, and looked fantastic in all three of his bouts at 185, even if one was in a losing effort. Rockhold has made no secret of his desire to become UFC champion in addition to his run with the Strikeforce gold. His UFC career got off to a rough start when he was knocked out by Vitor Belfort during the Brazilian’s run on TRT. Since then, Rockhold has fought like a man on a mission, absolutely dominating both Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch in first-round stoppages. This fight would see two extremely well-rounded fighters take each other on at the top of their game, and would be a worthy co-main event for a PPV or even a main event for a UFC on Fox event. Rockhold would be all-but-guaranteed a title shot with a victory, while Machida — despite having just one win since the Weidman bout — would make a very compelling case for a second shot. The other news from the MMA world over the past 24 hours hasn’t been quite as juicy as that potential middleweight showdown, but there were a few interesting notes nonetheless. The UFC announced that Fight Night 57 will be taking place in Austin, Texas rather than previously rumored Istanbul, Turkey. No bouts have been announced for the card as of yet, but with how quickly the organization has been filling fight cards of late, bookings should start to trickle in shortly. The rumored signing of Roger Gracie to ONE FC was made official, along with six other signings by the Asian promotion. Polish light heavyweight Michal Pasternak, Brazilian middleweight Rafael Atilho, South African welterweight Warren de Reuck, Kazakhstani middleweight Igor Svirid, Russian lightweight Timofey Nastyukhin, and Thai bantamweight Anatpong Bunrad are the other signings. Other than Gracie, none jump off the page, but the organization is certainly scouring the globe looking for some potential stars. Bellator added another fighter to their new female featherweight division today, as Talita Nogueira signed with the promotion. Nogueira has gone 6-0 thus far in her MMA career, with all six wins coming by way of stoppage. She should emerge very quickly as a contender when Bellator eventually determines a champion in their newest division. The viacom-owned organization also announced that Karo Parisyan will be returning to the cage in October. After a streak that saw Parisyan go 3-5 with four stoppage losses, he has picked up the first two TKO victories of his career in his last two bouts. He may be better served to return to his grappling roots as his opponent for the Bellator 127 card will be striker Marius Zaromskis, who put in an impressive performance against Vaughn Anderson back in May.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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