Six days after his knockout win over Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30, Lyoto Machida has his next middleweight opponent in Gegard Mousasi.
The matchup was announced Friday evening via the official UFC Twitter account.
Following a loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163, Machida chose to make a move to the 185-pound division in search of his quickest route to a championship. By beating Munoz so convincingly in his middleweight debut, Machida immediately became a Top Five fighter and a legitimate title threat in his new weight class.
Like Machida, Gegard Mousasi is currently ranked among the Top 10 fighters in the light heavyweight division. The former Strikeforce champion will now look to follow Machida to 185 pounds in hopes of stealing the Brazilian's thunder.
While Mousasi has not been beating elite competition recently, having defeated Ilir Latifi in his lone UFC appearance, he does have a long track record of success under the Strikeforce, Dream and Pride FC banners.
Although UFC president Dana White initially showed interest in pairing Machida with Vitor Belfort at the UFC Fight Night 30 post-fight press conference, Mousasi asked for "The Dragon" the morning following Machida's win over Munoz and was granted his wish.
Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi_mma) October 27, 2013
Machida and Mousasi will meet in Brazil on Feb. 8. The fight card they will be featured on has not been numbered, but it will be a UFC Fight Night event televised on Fox Sports 2 in the United States. The newly converted middleweights will headline the fight card and could position themselves for a title shot with a victory.
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