Lyoto Machida (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold: Why This Fight Will Happen in 2015 Dale De Souza December 22, 2014 Spotlight On paper, this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 58 headliner of former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida against C.B. Dollaway seemed like a foregone conclusion, even before it happened. Many figured the outcome of the bout as far as believing that Machida might finish Dollaway. What they did not anticipate, however, was that a body kick and a flurry of strikes would end Dollaway’s night in the first minute and two seconds of the fight. Needless to say, Machida put the MMA world on notice with the finish, and in getting the MMA world talking, he also attracted the attention of former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. Rockhold proceeded to issue a challenge to Machida after the bout via Twitter, and while neither a date nor a venue were announced, UFC president Dana White seemed quick to agree with the notion of a Machida-Rockhold bout. The tweets themselves lead us to the question of whether or not anything will come of a Machida-Rockhold bout. Only so many MMA bouts can come to fruition at one time, so what makes anyone consider Machida-Rockhold among the bouts that actually could happen as early as 2015? In addition to the obvious clash of styles between Rockhold, an American Kickboxing Academy product with skills in every realm of the MMA game, and Machida, a Brazilian-bred karateka with expertise in Sumo wrestling and an elusive fighting style that many have associated with the primary objective of a sanctioned MMA contest, we must consider that both men are now coming off of wins. Machida will come off of this win against Dollaway after losing to undefeated champion Chris Weidman, while Rockhold will come off of his win over Michael Bisping in Sydney. Both men need one or two more wins if they plan on challenging for the title, and as Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, the division’s only other clear-cut contender, is booked to face Yoel Romero at UFC 184, there just aren’t any other available middleweights that would make for any particularly compelling contests in the meantime. Therefore, this bout would serve as a key divisional matchup to see who is indeed close to the top of the division, and barring any sort of injuries or other serious harms, fans should definitely expect that this will emerge as a must-see bout that takes place during the UFC’s 2015 schedule.