Rampage, Machida Greenlit for UFC 123


Former light heavyweight champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (205) and Lyoto Machida (205) hit their intended marks a little more than 24 hours away from their main event showdown at UFC 123 on Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The eight other fighters slated for main card duty -- including co-headliners Matt Hughes (169) and B.J. Penn (169) -- also met their contracted weight requirements without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in.

Jackson has not competed since UFC 114 in May, when he dropped a unanimous decision to archrival Rashad Evans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A finalist in the 2003 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix, the 32-year-old Memphis, Tenn., native has never lost back-to-back bouts. Jackson holds notable victories over UFC hall of famer Chuck Liddell, one-time UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman, former two-division Pride titleholder Dan Henderson, 2000 Olympic silver medalist Matt Lindland and Brazilian icon Wanderlei Silva. In fact, he remains the only man to defeat Liddell twice. Jackson has secured nearly half (14) of his 30 career victories by knockout or technical knockout. He has not been finished in more than five years.

Training out of the Black House camp, Machida last appeared at UFC 113 six months ago, when he surrendered the light heavyweight crown to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in a first-round knockout at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The once-beaten Brazilian, credited with returning karate to a place of prominence in mixed martial arts, holds black belts in Shotokan karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Wins against Evans, one-time UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, former UFC light heavyweight titleholder Tito Ortiz, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 finalist Stephan Bonnar and American Top Team’s Thiago Silva anchor Machida’s stellar resume. He christened his professional MMA career with 16 consecutive victories.

UFC 123 -- which also features a middleweight duel pitting Gerald Harris (185) against Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves (185), a key lightweight tilt pairing “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 semi-finalist Joe Lauzon (155) with the surging George Sotiropoulos (155) and a light heavyweight bout matching the undefeated Phil Davis (205) with Tim Boetsch (205) -- will air live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. An hour prior, Spike TV will carry a pair of fights from the undercard: Aaron Simpson (185.5) vs. Mark Munoz (185) and Matt Brown (170) vs. Brian Foster (170).

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (205) vs. Lyoto Machida (205)
B.J. Penn (169) vs. Matt Hughes (169)
Gerald Harris (185) vs. Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves (185)
George Sotiropoulos (155) vs. Joe Lauzon (155)
Phil Davis (205) vs. Tim Boetsch (205)
Aaron Simpson (185.5) vs. Mark Munoz (185)
Brian Foster (170) vs. Matt Brown (170)
Tyson Griffin (155) vs. Nik Lentz (155)
Edson Mendes Barboza Jr. (155) vs. Mike Lullo (155)
Karo Parisyan (170) vs. Dennis Hallman (170)
Paul Kelly (155) vs. T.J. O'Brien (155)

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