For a preview of UFC Fight Night 36, check out Kevin Thang’s in-depth article here.
Saturday’s card sees two former champions square off in one of the most intriguing bouts of 2014, with former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida taking on ex-Strikeforce 205lbs title holder Gegard Mousasi. Both fighters have faced the whose-who of the light heavyweight division, and now will hope to add middleweight gold to their impressive resumés.
Machida made a successful drop down to 185lbs with a first round knockout win over top ranked ‘The Filipino Wrecking Machine’ Mark Munoz, and put himself on the fast track towards a title shot. Dana White has recently hinted that an impressive win over Gegard Mousasi could be enough to get the Brazilian a shot at the title, but Mousasi will be hoping to end any hopes of doing just that. Machida is 12-4 inside the Octagon, but two unimpressive performances led to him making the drop down to middleweight. That weight cut was enough to revive his career, and he looked in the shape of his life for the Munoz fight, and the man ranked #4 at 185lbs will be hoping to continue his success in this main event fight.
Mousasi, meanwhile, was considered one of the greatest fighters outside of the UFC during his spells at Strikeforce, Dream and Pride, and now hopes to translate that potential into success inside the Octagon. He won his UFC debut via decision against short notice replacement Ilir Latifi, though he came into the fight injured and blamed that on his sub-par performance, as well as Octagon jitters. Mousasi will be hoping to move down in weight and announce himself as a serious contender with a win over Machida.
In the co main event, there is a battle of top 10 standouts Francis Carmont and Jacare Souza, with the winner being on track to a title shot. Elsewhere, Erick Silva is hoping to get back on track against Takenori Sato, Viscardi Andrade and Nicholas Musoke are hoping to go 2-0 in the UFC, and Charles Oliveira will take on Andy Ogle in a battle for featherweight relevance.