The UFC has released the official lineup for their UFC 98 event on May 23rd. The fans inside of the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada will be treated to a total of 11 bouts, while those at home will have to pay to watch at least five.
The night will be headlined by a light heavyweight battle between two fighers who have yet to lose a professional fight, as UFC champ Rashad Evans will be defending his crown against Brazilian sensation Lyoto Machida.
Due to injuries to former champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the division’s (1a) top contender, Machida finally gets his chance for UFC gold. There really isn’t much to argue, as he is 14-0 and has been making his opponents look stupid.
This will mark Evans’ first-ever title defense. He jacked the title from Forrest Griffin at UFC 92, and hasn’t let anyone forget it since.
In addition to the 205-pound title tilt, future UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes will be making his long awaited return to the Octagon as he will meet his bitter rival Matt Serra in a hotly contested welterweight battle.
These two were initially slated to fight in December of 2007, however injuries to both parties prevented them from settling their beef until now.
If that wasn’t enough, Yushin Okami’s tussle with Dan Miller will have serious implications in the UFC’s middleweight division.
Okami has been fighting to legitimize himself as the division’s top contender for quite some time. Although he has posted W’s in nine of his last ten fights, the organization isn’t sold on his ability to draw big pay-per-view numbers.
Miller is an IFL fallout and has come into the UFC with guns blazing. He has amassed a 3-0 record inside of the Octagon and is 11-1 overall.
Here are the other bouts that will be taking place at UFC 98:
David Kaplan vs. George Roop
Brandon Wolff vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Houston Alexander vs. Andre Gusmao
Kyle Bradley vs. Phillipe Nover
Pat Barry vs. Tim Hague
James Irvin vs. Drew McFedries
Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Wilson
Frank Edgar vs. Sean Sherk
Dan Miller vs. Yushin Okami
Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra
Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion)