Neither Machida nor Franklin was a household name when they locked horns a decade ago in Japan at one of the nation’s annual New Year’s Eve events. In fact, it was only the third fight of Machida’s career. Rather than stumble against the more-seasoned Franklin who already had two UFC fights under his belt at the time, “The Dragon” ended up picking up a second round knockout with aid from a head kick. The outcome was the only loss of Franklin’s career up until his run-in with Anderson Silva nine fights later with the middleweight title in tow, while Machida won thirteen straight after the victory including the UFC belt.
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida will start a new phase of his career this coming weekend when he dips down to middleweight with hopes of following in the footsteps of friend Anderson Silva by eventually winning divisional gold. While Machida’s main event match-up with Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30 is certainly an important moment in the 35-year old’s run, it’s definitely not the first time he’s been put in a bout with high stakes against an apt adversary. And, as history has shown, chances are good he’ll come out on top when things are said and done. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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