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 continues to book legends struggles and this time 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 competition will take place 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 beat both Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort earlier that at the Octagon in what was a comeback 2018 for“The Dragon.“ Though he’s 40-years-old now, Machida showed last year that he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Many thought he was next in line to get a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but instead he’ll move up to light heavyweight with this significant struggle against Sonnen.
Sonnen (31-16-1) is currently 2-2 in Bellator and is coming from a TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko at the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to that, Sonnen had defeated Quinton“Rampage“ Jackson in the championship quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva before that. Though he is 41 now and no longer an elite fighter, Sonnen proceeds to land big-name matchups because of his entertaining fights and vibrant personality.
So far as the gambling line goes, start looking for Machida to be a big favorite in this one. His solid takedown defense skills combined with vicious knockout power contrary to a chinny fighter like Sonnen makes this an extremely favorable matchup on paper.
ONE Championship Inks Vitor Belfort
After a year’s signings of Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson and Sage Northcutt, it appears that ONE Championship isn’t done signing former UFC fighters just yet. The Singapore-based MMA promotion announced over the weekend it’s signed former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort into a brand new, multi-fight contract. Belfort was released from the UFC after declaring his retirement following a KO loss to Machida in May 2018, but ONE gave him an offer he can’t refuse, and he will finish his short lived retirement when he struggles for ONE after this year, probably in Brazil because the promotion looks to expand in South America.
ONE has not announced who Belfort’s first competition is going to be, however 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 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 such as James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is your advertising’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight champion, but he has not fought in two years. Maybe ONE could reserve that struggle in Brazil. At the same time, Belfort stated he’d be interested in boxing and boxing fights. I personally believe the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but he’ll make some good cash beneath the 1 bannerads. 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 has to retire. Cro Cop (38-11-2, 1 NC) will retire at age 44 as one of the greatest heavyweights to compete at the game. He will retire to a 10-fight win streak, one that saw him struggle and compete all over the world to find the best promotions in MMA. We at MMAOB want Cro Cop the very best of luck in retirement.
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