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Winner's Circle! UFC on FOX 15 preview for 'Machida vs Rockhold' in New Jersey

What could victory mean for Luke Rockhold, Lyoto Machida, Ronaldo Souza, and Chris Camozzi ahead of their respective headlining bouts this weekend (Sat., April 18, 2015) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey? ponders the consequences below.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to FOX this Saturday night (April 18, 2015) for an absolutely stacked UFC on FOX 15 event featuring consequential bouts throughout the card, airing live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

With several intriguing bouts lined up in Newark, let's take the time to discuss what victories could potentially mean for the four fighters taking center stage in the evening's main and co-main event.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will look to earn another UFC title shot, but "The Dragon" will face a stiff test in former Strikeforce middleweight kingpin Luke Rockhold in the main event of the evening.

The co-main event lost some luster this past week when Yoel Romero withdrew from his scheduled bout against Ronaldo Souza. "Jacare" will now rematch Chris Camozzi on short notice in a fight with far less impact than before.

With potential title shots on the line in New Jersey, let's take a glimpse into the future and predict what a win might do for the four aforementioned fighters moving forward.

Lyoto Machida

Already a legend in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), Lyoto Machida only continues to further cement himself as a future Hall of Famer each and every time "The Dragon" steps into the Octagon.

Sure, Machida is no longer the undefeated, seemingly indomitable force he once was prior to 2010, but that doesn't mean the Shotokan master is any less brilliant inside the cage.

In fact, Machida has evolved into one of the most exciting fighters in UFC today, and his move down to middleweight in 2013 has proven to be a fantastic career choice.

The former light heavyweight kingpin just fell short of becoming a two-division champ when he lost a unanimous decision to middleweight champ Chris Weidman last July, but a 62 second (technical) knockout victory over CB Dollaway in December proved Machida still has a lot left in the gas tank.

Let's not sugar coat this: Luke Rockhold is just about the toughest match up UFC brass could have found for "The Dragon" outside a rematch with Weidman, and if Machida can defeat the former Strikeforce champ, you can bet he will be fighting for UFC gold for a sixth time later this year.

Luke Rockhold

Barring his UFC debut loss to Vitor Belfort, Luke Rockhold has looked impeccable inside the Octagon.

With an uncanny ability to frustrate opponents with the perfect mix of size, pressure, striking skill, and a ridiculous grappling acumen, the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product has been picking apart his opponents over the last year.

Michael Bisping may be at the tail end of his career, but the way Rockhold utterly dominated "The Count" was something to behold this past November.

Boasting a 13-2 record at only 30 years old, it is feasible to believe Rockhold is only hitting his prime fighting years right now, and that is an incredibly scary proposition for his opponents.

Rockhold may very well be the most well rounded fighter in the middleweight division, and with incredible fighters like Chris Weidman, Ronaldo Souza, and Lyoto Machida alongside him, that is quite the statement to make.

This main event tilt pits two of the most exciting and savvy strikers in the division against one another, but will Rockhold's submission game lead him to victory this Saturday?

If so, the former Strikeforce champ will be fighting either Chris Weidman or Vitor Belfort next for the UFC title.

Jacare Souza

Prior to Yoel Romero's injury, the UFC on FOX 15 co-main event could have very well determined the next No. 1 contender in the middleweight division. Although Rockhold and Machida were granted main event status, had either Souza or Romero put on a more impressive performance than their counterparts, UFC brass likely would have given either man a title shot.

Well, you can now throw that all out of the window.

Instead, UFC brass could only manage to pull Chris Camozzi from the regional scene and plug him back into a familiar scenario he faced only two years ago.

At UFC on FX 8, Camozzi replaced Costa Philippou on short notice to take on the debuting "Jacare" Souza, and the former Strikeforce champ made The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) product pay. It only took Souza about four minutes to strangle Camozzi, and I would suspect nothing less this Saturday.

Unfortunately for "Jacare," I just don't see how he can earn a title shot after beating Camozzi again. In almost every possible scenario, I see the Brazilian fighting again before a title shot.

Chris Camozzi

You want to talk about monumental upsets? Well, Chris Camozzi has the chance for major redemption this Saturday night.

Now I know what you are all thinking: "There is absolutely no way Chris Camozzi defeats Ronaldo Souza on short notice."

Look, I absolutely agree with you. But, the facts are that shocking upsets have occurred inside the Octagon, and no matter how unlikely it seems, anything can happen once the cage door closes.

Now that we have the fairy tale aside, the real story for Camozzi is the opportunity to return to UFC. After being cut following a four fight losing streak, he's back on the roster just seven months and two victories later.

Even if Camozzi loses this weekend, he will be in a better spot than he was on the regional scene.

The reason being is that UFC brass will undoubtedly give him another fight inside the Octagon -- against a much more equally matched opponent -- meaning the California native could earn his roster spot once again.

This weekend may be tough for the 28-year old, but no matter what occurs, his future is certainly looking brighter than before.

For more information on UFC on FOX 15, including the full fight card, results, news, and more, click here.

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