Look who’s back — without a title shot. Former champ Lyoto Machida (19-3) makes his return, taking on Collegiate wrestler Phil Davis (11-1) at UFC 163: Aldo vs. Pettis in Rio, Brazil. As the UFC usually attempts to do in Brazil cards, the new co-main also places a local Brazilian (Lyoto Machida) against an American (Davis).
With the recent controversial, close decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 157, Dana White was quoted on multiple occasions stating that Machida looked to be the top contender again. Unfortunately the champ Jonathon “Bones” Jones is out with a shattered toe received in his bout against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159. In the meantime “The Dragon” will stay busy in his home country with another fight.
After dismantling Brazilian submission specialist Vinny Magalhaes at UFC 159, it was expected that Davis would get a step up in competition. Unlikely that anyone assumed that step up would be the former champ Machida. With an impressive win here we could start hearing talks of Davis in title contention.
I would say the match would make for a title contender match, but as we’ve seen time and time again, title fights are based on the fashion of victory (right Fitch?) and just a bit of luck in time alignment. Here’s your UFC 163 card as of now, set to take place on Aug. 3.
Champ Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis – for featherweight title
Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida
Josh Koscheck vs. Demian Maia
Thales Leites vs. Tom Watson
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Anthony Perosh
Cezar Ferreira vs. Clint Hester
Neil Magny vs. Sergio Moraes
Photographer: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports