Four MMA legends have been back in the news , and you’ll be able to read what they’re up to beneath.
Bellator Books Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
Bellator has been book legends fights and this time the advertising has signed a light heavyweight contest between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani affirmed the reservation, though Bellator hasn’t announced a date or location for the competition as of yet. Notably, the competition will occur at 205lbs after Machida last competed at middleweight and Sonnen at heavyweight.
Machida (25-8) defeated Rafael Carvalho via split decision in his Bellator debut and defeat both Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort earlier that in the Octagon in what was a comeback 2018 for »The Dragon. » Though he’s 40-years-old now, Machida revealed last year he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. Many believed he had been next in line to get a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but instead he will move up to light heavyweight for this significant struggle against Sonnen.
Sonnen (31-16-1) is currently 2-2 at Bellator and is coming from a TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko in the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to that, Sonnen had defeated Quinton »Rampage » Jackson from the tournament quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva before that. Though he is 41 now and no longer an elite fighter, Sonnen proceeds to property big-name matchups because of his entertaining struggles and colorful personality.
So far as the gambling line goes, start looking for Machida to be a big favorite in this one. His strong takedown defense abilities combined with vicious knockout power against a chinny fighter like Sonnen makes this a very favorable matchup on paper.
ONE Championship Inks Vitor Belfort
After last year’s signings of Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson and Sage Northcutt, it appears that ONE Championship is not done signing former UFC fighters only yet. The Singapore-based MMA advertising announced over the weekend it’s signed former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort to a brand new, multi-fight contract. Belfort was released from the UFC after announcing his retirement following a KO loss to Machida in May 2018, but ONE gave him an offer that he can not deny, and he will finish his short lived retirement when he fights for ONE later this year, probably in Brazil as the promotion looks to expand in South America.
ONE hasn’t announced who Belfort’s first opponent will be, but there are plenty of alternatives for him. Most likely Belfort is going to be ticketed to a heavyweight fight as he won’t need to reduce weight in that case. ONE could easily give Belfort a name fight against their heavyweight champion Brandon Vera, but they might want to give him an easier battle against a journeyman such as James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is your promotion’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight champion, but he has not fought in a couple of years. Perhaps ONE could book that struggle in Brazil. At the same time, Belfort said he’d be interested in boxing and boxing fights. Personally, I think the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but at least he’ll make some good money beneath the ONE banner. Cro Cop Retires
Legendary heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop has retired, only weeks after a decision win over Roy Nelson in Bellator. Based on reports, Cro Cop suffered a stroke and must retire. Cro Cop (38-11-2, 1 NC) will retire at age 44 as one of the greatest heavyweights to compete in the sport. He will retire to a 10-fight win series, one which saw him struggle and compete throughout the world for the best promotions in MMA. We at MMAOB wish Cro Cop the very best of luck in retirement.
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