At UFC 163, the No. 1 light heavyweight contender, Lyoto Machida, will face a formidable opponent in Phil Davis, who is ranked No. 8. Machida is riding a two-fight win streak and intends on returning to his glory days as the light heavyweight champion.
With this fight, Davis will attempt to re-establish himself as a contender, with hopes of a title shot in the near future.
Both men have a lot at stake at UFC 163.
For Machida (19-3), a win on August 3 would likely garner him an opportunity to fight for the light heavyweight championship. While a loss wouldn't see him drop to far in the rankings, the 35-year-old would risk never attaining another title shot again.
Before his loss to Rashad Evans at UFC on Fox 2, Davis (11-1-1) was on the fast track to a title shot. Since that loss, however, the former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler has fought nonranked opponents. His bouts against no-named foes have lowered Davis’ stock and have left him at the lower end of the 205-pound division’s totem pole.
This bout is Davis’ largest test to date. A win could lead him to a matchup against the light heavyweight champion or the man whom Davis beat at UFC 112—Alexander Gustafsson.