UFC Fight Night 59: Machida vs. Dollaway Date: December 20, 2014 Location: Barueri, Brazil Venue: Ginasio Jose Correa Broadcast: Fight Pass UFC Middleweight Contender Lyoto Machida Lyoto Machida (21-5) is now 36 years old and four years removed from his short-lived light heavyweight title reign. Since losing to Mauricio Rua in 2010, Machida has gone 4-4 inside the Octagon, losing to Rampage Jackson in a controversial decision, getting put to sleep by Jon Jones, losing to Phil Davis in another controversial unanimous decision in Brazil, and then getting defeated by decision by Chris Weidman at UFC 175. After a long career at 205lbs, he decided to move down to 185 in 2013. Machida was initially set to fight Tim Kennedy in his first-ever middleweight bout at UFC Fight night 30, but after Michael Bisping dropped out of his fight with Mark Munoz, Machida filled in against his training partner, and quickly knocked him out in the first round with a beautiful head kick. He then followed it up with a decision win over Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 36 to earn a title shot, but was edged out by Weidman at UFC 175. He still wants a title shot, though, and with a win over rising contender CB Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 58, he’ll be right there in the middleweight title queue. UFC Middleweight Contender CB Dollaway The runner-up in Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, CB Dolloway (15-5) was considered to be the better fighter than winner Amir Sadollah even after losing to him twice. Dollaway was considered a blue-chip prospect, but he went 5-4 in his first nine UFC fights and many wrote him off as a guy who never lived up to his potential. Since losing to Jared Hamman and Mark Munoz by T/KO in back-to-back fights in 2011, though, Dollaway has looked better than ever. In his last five fights, he is 4-1 with wins over Francis Carmont, Cezar Mutante, Jason Miller and Daniel Sarafian, with his only loss coming to Tim Boetsch via controversial split decision. Dollaway always had great wrestling and now that he’s shown off improved striking he looks like he could be a contender at 185lbs. And with a win over Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 58, he would be right at the top of the line for a middleweight title shot. Opening UFC Fight Night 58 Main Event Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Machida a -600 favorite (bet $600 to win $100) while Dollaway opened as a +400 underdog (bet $100 to win $400) at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Machida, the former light heavyweight kingpin, has looked great since dropping down to middleweight, going 2-1 with wins over Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi and narrowly losing to Chris Weidman in their title fight. As for Dollaway, after an up-and-down career he really found his groove the last few years, going 4-1 over his last five fights with wins over Francis Carmont, Cezar Ferreira, Daniel Sarafian and Jason Miller. However, while Dollaway has looked good as of late, Machida represents a major step up in competition for “The Doberman.” Dollaway’s striking has looked good recently and his wrestling has always been solid, but Machida is way better on the feet and has the wrestling to keep this upright. I’ve been impressed by Dollaway, but this is a very hard matchup for him and that’s why he opens as such a big underdog despite his recent run.