Lyoto Machida Moves to Middleweight, Faces Tim Kennedy at Fight for the Troops 3

Damon Martin@@DamonMartinContributor IAugust 22, 2013

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Lyoto Machida celebrates his victory over Dan Henderson (not pictured) after their UFC heavyweight bout at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will make a move down to the middleweight division for his next fight, where he will meet Strikeforce transfer Tim Kennedy in his debut at 185 pounds.

UFC president Dana White announced during an appearance on Fox Sports Live via Fox Sports 1 that Machida has decided to move down a weight class following his last fight—a controversial loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163.

"One thing that we haven't announced yet that I'll announce tonight is Lyoto Machida is moving down to middleweight," White said. "He's going to face Tim Kennedy in the next Fight for the Troops, which will be on Fox Sports 1."

Machida has flirted with the idea of moving down in weight for some time, and now, it seems, is the right moment for him to make the move.

Machida meets Kennedy in the main event for the next UFC Fight for the Troops show, which will take place on November 6 in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

This will technically mark the fourth time the UFC has done a show for the armed forces. The first wasn't actually called Fight for the Troops, but it took place at MCAS Miramar, which was the first time a UFC event took place on a military base.

The second event, which took on the name Fight for the Troops, took place in 2008 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, while the third was held at Fort Hood in Texas in 2011.

Now the UFC will land at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The proceeds from the event will be given to charity to support troops coming back from overseas.

Kennedy served in the military for several tours of duty overseas, where he was a part of the Army Special Forces and also an Army Ranger.

The fight in November will be a major step up in competition for Kennedy. He has fought for the Strikeforce middleweight title on two past occasions, but he has not faced a competitor on the level of Machida in his career.

If the upcoming Fight for the Troops card is similar to past shows the UFC has done, expect several fighters with military backgrounds to end up on the card. The UFC has numerous fighters on the roster who have served in the armed forces, and if previous Fight for the Troops cards are any indication, they will all be clamoring for a spot.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.