Lyoto Machida (pictured) must believe Alexander Gustafsson has in fact leapfrogged him as the UFC’s light heavyweight top contender because “The Dragon” has agreed to fight Phil Davis at UFC 163.
The UFC confirmed the matchup on Monday evening.
Although Machida was promised next dibs (again) at reigning UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones after posting an uneventful split decision victory over Dan Henderson in February, UFC president Dana White recently suggested the fact that Jones has already choked Machida unconscious and the lack of buzz surrounding a rematch may have allowed Gustafsson to cut in line.
Jones and Gustafsson haven’t done Machida any favors with their back-and-forth banter, which has generated plenty of fan interest. Gustafsson kicked things off when he and his team released a Harlem Shake video that featured his friends holding up signs that read ”Jon Jones You Are Next.”
Machida has won three of his last four bouts, including two straight. The 35-year-old’s lone blemish during his current run is to Jones.
Davis has also rattled off two consecutive victories. The wrestler most recently posted a unanimous decision win over Vinny Magalhaes at UFC 159.
The 205-pound affair will co-headline the pay-per-view broadcast.
HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosts the August 3 fiesta.
Here is the show’s current lineup:
Sergio Moraes vs. Neil Magny
Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson
Clint Hester vs. Cezar Ferreira
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh
Demian Maia vs Josh Koscheck
Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis
Anthony Pettis vs. Jose Aldo (UFC featherweight champion)