Four MMA legends are back in the news again, and you can read what they’re up to beneath.
Bellator Books Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
Bellator continues to book legends fights and this time that the promotion has signed a light heavyweight contest between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani confirmed the reservation, though Bellator hasn’t announced a date or location for the contest as of yet. Notably, the contest will occur in 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 beat both Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort earlier that at the Octagon in what was a comeback 2018 for”The Dragon.” Though he is 40-years-old today, Machida revealed last year that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Many thought he had been next in line for a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but instead he’ll move up to light heavyweight for this significant struggle against Sonnen.
Sonnen (31-16-1) is 2-2 at Bellator and is coming from a TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko in the semifinals of their Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to this, Sonnen had conquered Quinton”Rampage” Jackson in the tournament quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva before that. Though he’s 41 now and no longer an elite fighter, Sonnen proceeds to property big-name matchups due to his entertaining struggles and vibrant personality.
As far as the gambling line goes, look for Machida to be a large favorite in this one. His solid takedown defense skills combined with vicious knockout power against a chinny fighter such as Sonnen makes this an extremely favorable matchup on paper.
ONE Championship Inks Vitor Belfort
After last year’s signings of Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson and Sage Northcutt, it seems that ONE Championship isn’t 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 some brand new, multi-fight contract. Belfort was released from the UFC after declaring his retirement after a KO loss to Machida in May 2018, but ONE gave him an offer he can not deny, and he will end his short-lived retirement when he struggles for ONE after this year, likely in Brazil because the promotion looks to expand in South America.
ONE hasn’t announced who Belfort’s first opponent is going to be, but there are loads of alternatives for him. Most probably Belfort will be ticketed into a heavyweight fight as he will not need to cut weight in that case. An individual could easily give Belfort a name fight against their heavyweight winner Brandon Vera, but they may want to provide him an easier battle against a journeyman for example James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is your advertising’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight winner, but he hasn’t fought in two decades. Perhaps ONE could reserve that struggle in Brazil. At the same time, Belfort stated he’d be interested in boxing and boxing fights. I personally think the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but at least he’ll make some good cash under the 1 banner. Cro Cop Retires
Legendary heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop has retired, just weeks after a decision win over Roy Nelson in Bellator. According to reports, Cro Cop suffered a stroke and has to retire. Cro Cop (38-11-2, 1 NC) will retire at age 44 among the best heavyweights to compete at the sport. He’ll retire on a 10-fight win series, one which saw him struggle and compete throughout the world to find the best promotions in MMA. We at MMAOB want Cro Cop the top of luck .
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