Team Quest fighter Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (4-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will fight Kazuhiro Nakamura (11-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 84, an event that takes place May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Sokoudjou confirmed the bout with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) over the weekend while he was in Columbus to support teammate Dan Henderson at UFC 82. The rumored fight had first been reported by MMAWeekly.com.
After posting two high-profile upsets in PRIDE Fighting Championships, Sokoudjou signed a deal with the UFC and made his octagon debut at UFC 79. However, he suffered a second-round submission loss (via triangle choke) to Lyoto Machida. (It was Machida’s first submission victory in nearly four years.)
Prior to his arrival in the UFC, Sokoudjou, a 2001 U.S. Open Judo champion, defeated the heavily favored Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at PRIDE 33. The 23-second knockout was followed up with a two-minute KO of Ricardo Arona at PRIDE 34, and the 23-year-old fighter earned a top-1o spot in many light heavyweight rankings.
Nakamura, meanwhile, will look to rebound from his own loss to Machida. Making his UFC debut after a career spent entirely with PRIDE, the Japanese fighter suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Machida at September’s UFC 76 event.
Nakamura will fight for the first time since failing a subsequent drug test due to marijuana. The California State Athletic Commission issued a 90-day suspension and $500 fine.
UFC 84 features a main event between UFC lightweight champ B.J. Penn and former champ Sean Sherk, Additionally, the UFC recently confirmed a few other notable bouts, including Machida vs. Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine.
For the latest UFC 84 fight card, check out the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.