The UFC has announced rising light heavyweight fighters Kazuhiro Nakamura and Lyoto Machida will go toe-to-toe at UFC 76 in Anaheim. The event features a main event bout between Chuck Liddell and Keith Jardine. The main card also includes the UFC debut of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua against The Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin.
Nakamura has a rather modest 11-6 MMA record but the losses came against the likes ofÂ “Shogun”, Josh Barnett, Wanderlei Silva, and Dan Henderson. In July Nakamura was mentioned as a possible opponent for the main event fight against Chuck Liddell with the spot ultimately going to Keith Jardine. Although Nakamura was defeated by Rua in his last MMA bout in late-2006, he has been one of many fighters who will jump to the UFC following the acquisition of PRIDE.
Machida holds a 10-0 MMA record including 2 wins in the UFC. In his UFC debut Machida defeated Sam Hoger by decision at UFC 67. He defeated David Heath at UFC 70 also by unanimous decision. One of the biggest criticisms most have of Machida is his inability to finish his opponents with both of UFC and 6 of his 10 wins coming by decisions.
This fight is extremely important for both fighters. Nakamura will be looking to make a name for himself in America while Machida will need to demonstrate he truly is a legitimate contender with the ability to finish his fights. The fight will be on the televised portion of the event.