UFC 163 fight card primer: Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 163: Aldo vs. Jung fight card primer, previewing all the action at this weekend's UFC 163 PPV live from Brazil. Here, we look at the co-main event: Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis.

In the co-main event at UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie, Light Heavyweights meet as Lyoto Machida (19-3 MMA; 11-3 UFC) takes on Phil Davis (11-1(1) MMA; 7-1(1) UFC). The official UFC rankings currently have Machida as the #1 contender at Light Heavyweight, with Davis a few spots below at #7. The UFC 163 PPV airs live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this Saturday, August 3, on PPV with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

This fight feels like a real must-win for both men, which is weird considering that both are just barely outside title contention. A win here could make either man next in line for Jon Jones - a loss will send one way back in line. This is your classic striker vs. grappler battle, as Machida's karate goes up against Davis's wrestling. Whichever man can dictate where the fight takes place will be the man to take the win.

How do these two stack up?

Machida: 35 years old | 6'1" | 74" reach
Davis: 28 years old | 6'2" | 79" reach

What have these two done recently?

Machida: W - Dan Henderson (SD) | W - Ryan Bader (KO) | L - Jon Jones (Sub)
Davis: W - Vinny Magalhaes (UD) | W - Wagner Prado (Sub) | NC - Wagner Prado

How did these two get here?

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida is a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, but that brief 2009 run feels like ancient history by now. After a rough patch where he went 1-3, he's now riding a 2 fight win streak and coming off the defeat of Dan Henderson. With Machida, you always know exactly what you're going to get - elusive, high level striking that frustrates opponents while taking them out of their game. Only a select few have been able to solve the Machida puzzle - will Phil Davis add his name to that elite list?

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 163

"Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis is a skilled wrestler and grappler, and he's used that wrestling to great effect in the UFC. After starting his career 9-0, he lost to Rashad Evans, and has been somewhat stalled out ever since, wasting his time in a pair of fights with Wagner Prado, then scoring a solid win in April over Vinny Magalhaes. Davis once had his name held up alongside the likes of Jones and Gustafsson as the next generation of Light Heavyweights - if he wants to reach that level again, he needs a win here.

Why should you care?

I'm a striking guy, and so Lyoto is a must watch fighter for me. I am always eager to see what he makes happen out there, and this fight is no exception.

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