The light heavyweight fight, which will be a five-round main event, will be the first for "DC" in the division, having competed at heavyweight his entire mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
And it's a bout the former Olympian initially didn't want, but understands that if he wants to get a crack at the division strap, he must try to "hurt" a guy he really likes to get there.
He broke it down on a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"Yup. it's official, Rashad and I are going to main event that card, my first UFC main event against a guy that, I think he's 22-3, most people do not get records like that without being really good fighters. Rashad won The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), light heavyweight champion, and I think this guy is going to be in the Hall of Fame one day. It's a true test to show where I am. I know you got to beat those types of guys if you want to get a championship fight. It is what it is."
"I offered them (UFC) up a whole bunch of different scenarios and this was the fight that was going to happen. I would have preferred to fight someone else, but the UFC are going to make the fights and its our job to fight. I care about him a ton and I think he's a great guy, but now it's time to get down to business and were going to get in that cage and I have to try and hurt him. I can't go into the cage feeling like I don't want to hurt my buddy because otherwise he is going to hurt me and beat me and that will set me back and keep me from obtaining my goals."