Bienvenido a Miami y sus playas. The finale for The Ultimate Fighter Brasil 4, which was scheduled to happen in São Paulo this summer, on June 27th, has changed host cities. The card now moves to Hollywood, Florida (just outside of Miami)—a beacon for many, many Brazilian migrants. The main event has also changed, and it’s a good one.
Originally, the main event was slated to see Erick Silva versus Rick Story, but now that fight’s been made a co-main event, making way for Lyoto Machida’s return to the Octagon following his last loss to a seemingly invincible Luke Rockhold. He faces Yoel Romero, sixth in the middleweight rankings. Machida said he’s excited to fight in Miami, that “it’s a place I always liked and that has a great Brazilian and latin community, versus a high-level opponent. It will be a great fight.”
Lyoto’s last loss was a difficult one, prompting some to question his future, yet he continues to be in the division’s top five. The Cuban fighter, Romero, was slated to fight Jacaré Souza, but injury forced him out. This will be the first time Romero fights since last September, when he defeated Tim Kennedy. He’s coming into the fight with nine wins and only one loss on his record. Undefeated under the Ultimate Fighting Championship banner with five wins, only one of his victories was not a knockout.
Lyoto comes in with three wins and two losses in the middleweight class, one of them to Chris Weidman in a title dispute. The other match-ups announced are Lorenz Larkin vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio, Thiago Santos vs. Steve Bosse (who was supposed to fight Maldonado at UFC 186, but was re-replaced by Rampage) and Rani Yahya vs. Masanori Kanehara.
This is the first time the UFC arrives in Miami since UFC 42, in 2003, which featured a main event between Matt Hughes and Sean Sherk.
Update: An earlier version of this article stated that the card mentioned takes place in Miami, FL. It takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL. The last time the UFC put on a show in Florida was in 2007.
Check out these related stories:
The Mixed Martial Arts of Victorian London
Before BJJ, there was Bartitsu.
Jonathan Maicelo: The Last Inca
Peru's up-and-coming boxing star.
Kron Gracie on Jiu-Jitsu, Skateboarding, Older Brothers, and Famous Fathers
The ties that bind are strong.
Joel Tudor on the Art of Surfing, Fighting, and Style
A surf icon helps MMA keep its sense of tradition.
Japan's Karate Kid: Kyoji Horiguchi
Japan's brightest MMA prospect.