Machida to defend belt against Rua at UFC 104

Last week, Inside Fights broke the exclusive news that Lyoto Machida’s next opponent would be Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. That news has now been confirmed by our sources, who also say that the fight is locked in for the main event of UFC 104 in Los Angeles. 

The fight had been considered for UFC 103 in Dallas on September 19th, but the company felt like they needed the bigger fight to go to the Los Angeles show. While Machida/Rua isn’t the biggest fight in the world, it is a championship fight, and this foray into Los Angeles almost requires a championship fight as a headliner.

The current plan would have the winner of Machida/Rua facing off against the winner of Jackson/Evans, a fight which will take place at The Ultimate 2009 in December. The winners of those two fights will square off in 2010, with April being agreed upon as the most likely show.

Machida could complicate things, however. He’s been adamant that he wants to stay busy; if Forrest Griffin is able to beat Anderson Silva, he could be granted an immediate title shot against the winner of Machida and Rua. That fight could potentially take place in December or January.

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