As expected, UFC 123 will be jumping off November 20th inside The Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan. A light heavyweight contest between former champs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Lyoto Machida will headline the pay-per-view broadcast. The card’s co-main event will feature BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes III.
“When you think of Detroit, the first names that come to mind are legends like Joe Louis and Tommy Hearns,” UFC president Dana White said. “This is a real fight town with diehard fight fans, so I’m happy to be the guy bringing big fights to the Motor City.”
“We’re bringing the best UFC fighters here on November 20th. Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida are two of the top light heavyweights in the world. I expect this fight to be a war, as both of these guys want to get back in the title run. The co-main event is Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn, two of the best fighters in UFC history. They have both beat each other and jumped at the opportunity to fight a third time.”
After being humbled by bitter rival Rashad Evans in his last outing at UFC 114, Rampage was quickly put to work at his part-time gig as the hype man for his summer film The A-Team. Now that B.A. Baracus has fulfilled his international promotional commitments, it’s time to pay some bills.
“I started this camp very early,” Jackson said. “I stayed in shape from the last fight and the weight hasn’t been an issue this time. Every single minute of this camp will be focused on technique, not getting back in shape or shaking the ring rust after a long time off.
“If Machida decides to fight me, it will be an exciting fight for one round before he goes to sleep. I am expecting him to run from me, though. He’d wear sneakers into the Octagon if he could! But don’t worry, I will hunt him down and get him anyway.”
Machida lost the light heavyweight crown to reigning champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 113. After being handed his first professional blemish, “The Dragon” called upon his old Brazilian buddy Anderson Silva to help him recapture his mojo.
“I know what it’s like to be the champion and I want to be the champion again,” Machida said. “I respect Rampage and I think he is an incredible fighter, but I’m going to expose his weaknesses – I’m going to win this fight on November 20 and go after the light heavyweight title.”
UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the event Friday, September 17th starting at 10AM ET/7PM PT via UFCFightClub.com. A special internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers on Saturday, September 18th starting at 10AM ET/7PM PT.
The general public is granted access on Monday, September 20th at 10AM ET/7AM PT.