Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has decided to drop to 185, and his first fight in that weight class is now booked. No, he won't be fighting Chael Sonnen. According to UFC president Dana White, The Dragon will face off with former Strikeforce title challenger Tim Kennedy at Fight for the Troops 3 in November. White was a guest on Fox Sports Live on FS1 tonight and made the announcement. Here's the tweet to accompany the booking:
"Lyoto Machida is moving down to middleweight to face Tim Kennedy in the next Fight For The Troops on @FOXSports1 on 11/6"—Dana White— UFCONFOX (@UFCONFOX) August 22, 2013
Machida (19-4) lost a highly debatable decision to Phil Davis in his last bout at UFC 163, which cost him any shot at another light heavyweight title shot. His drop to 185 isn't really all that surprising, but it is surprising that his first opponent will be Kennedy (16-4). Kennedy has been very active on twitter asking for a top-level opponent, and I guess that paid off. And it's hardly surprising that Kennedy, a United States Special Forces sniper, would be a featured attraction on a card dedicated to American troops. But against Machida? I'm not even going to try and hide my surprise.
The card will go down on November 6th, on the Army base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The UFC hasn't staged a "Fight for the Troops" card since January 2011in Texas, where Melvin Guillard bested Evan Dunham in the main event.
If you don't believe me, here's video of the announcement: