Light heavyweights Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (4-2) and Kazuhiro Nakamura (11-7) will look for their first wins inside the Octagon when the two Pride FC veterans lock horns at UFC 84 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 24, according to MMAWeekly.com.
Both fighters lost to Lyoto Machida in their respective debuts under the UFC banner. In fact, Sokoudjou lost via submission (arm triangle choke) in round two of his bout with Machida at UFC 79: "Nemesis" back in December 2007.
It was a hard trip back to reality for the "African Assassin" after two impressive back-to- back knockout wins against top 205-pound fighters, Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira while competing for Pride FC.
The Team Quest fighter— a decorated Judo practitioner—is up against a tough opponent who shares a similar fighting background.
Nakamura trains under Hidehiko Yoshida — a 1992 Judo Olympic gold medalist who is also a Pride FC veteran. He (Nakamura) lost to Machida via unanimous decision and after the bout was suspended for three months because of a positive test for marijuana.
The Japanese fighter has been tested against some of the top talent in the sport throughout his career, competing against standouts such as Murilo Bustamante (win), Kevin Randleman (win), Igor Vovchanchyn (win), Dan Henderson (loss), Wanderlei Silva (loss), Josh Barnett (loss) and Mauricio ‘Shogun' Rua (loss).
This is an important fight for Sokoudjou and Nakamura because a loss could send one of them packing and looking for a new employer.
For the most recent rumored UFC 84 fight card, which includes the lightweight championship bout between BJ Penn and Sean Sherk, click here.