As you should know, Lyoto Machida was supposed to face Thiago Silva at UFC 89 until Silva suffered an injury that forced him off of the card.
Sources say that since Silva pulled out on such short notice, a replacement opponent could not be found. Machida was pulled off the card altogether and thrown onto the December card to face the returning Shogun. Rua was also rumored to face Coleman for this card as well, but it seems those rumors were scrapped.
Machida is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Tito Ortiz at UFC 84, while Shogun is coming off of a submission loss to now UFC LHW Champion Forrest Griffin back at UFC 76.
If you look at the fighters that each has beaten, there is no real doubt about who would be a better matchup for the undefeated Machida. Thiago's biggest victories came over James Irvin and the flash in the pan that we like to call Houston Alexander.
If you take a gander at Shogun's record, you'll see wins over Overeem, Randleman, Arona, Lil Nog, and former UFC LHW Champion Quinton Jackson. No real comparison here in terms of who has faced the stiffer competition.
When he steps into the octagon in December, it will have been well over a year since his last fight, so rust may play a factor. But I feel if anyone can solve the enigma that is Machida, it's Shogun.
More updates to come as the story unfolds.