Ryoto Machida (10-0) will take on Kazuhiro Nakamura (11-6) in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 76: "Knockout" on September 22, according to UFC.com.
Up until two weeks ago, Machida was widely believed to be the opponent for UFC newcomer Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. That fight never panned out, and now Machida is up against another talented fighter set to make his Octagon debut.
Let's stick with Tom Gerbasi's description of Nakamura on this one:
"... Nakamura will be making his UFC debut after fighting his entire career for the PRIDE organization. Owner of wins over Murilo Bustamante, Kevin Randleman, and Igor Vovchanchyn, this light heavyweight Judo standout has also locked horns with Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Josh Barnett, and Mauricio ‘Shogun' Rua, making him one of the most battle-tested veterans at the elite level of the game."
Couldn't have said it any better. And don't let the record fool you for those unfamiliar with Kaz -- he's one tough customer.
Machida is a two-fight UFC veteran with unanimous decision wins over Sam Hoger (UFC 67) and David Heath (UFC 70). Prior to becoming a Zuffa employee, Machida toppled UFC notables such as Rich Franklin, BJ Penn and Stephan Bonnar.
The headline bout for UFC 76 is a 205-pound contest between former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and Keith Jardine. Rua will throwdown with fan favorite Forrest Griffin, and Jon Fitch will look to dish out another signature welterweight beatdown of Diego Sanchez.
Not too mention Thiago Tavares and Tyson Griffin will battle in a sick lightweight showdown.
I think I'm excited.
For the developing UFC 76 fight card click here.