Four MMA legends have been back in the news , and you’ll be able to read what they are up to below.
Bellator Books Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
Bellator continues to reserve legends fights and this time the advertising has signed a light heavyweight contest between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani confirmed the booking, though Bellator hasn’t announced a date or location for the competition as of yet. Notably, the competition will take place 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 in the Octagon in what was a comeback 2018 to get”The Dragon.” Though he’s 40-years-old today, Machida revealed last year he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. Many thought he had been next in line to get a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but instead he will move back up to light heavyweight for this big 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 the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to that, Sonnen had conquered Quinton”Rampage” Jackson in the championship quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva before that. Though he’s 41 now and no longer an elite fighter, Sonnen proceeds to property big-name matchups because of his entertaining struggles and vibrant personality.
As far as the betting line goes, look for Machida to be a large favorite in this one. His strong takedown defense abilities combined with vicious knockout power against a chinny fighter such as Sonnen makes this a very favorable matchup on paper.
ONE Championship Inks Vitor Belfort
After a year’s signings of both Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson and Sage Northcutt, it seems the 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 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 after this year, likely in Brazil because the promotion looks to expand in South America.
ONE has not declared who Belfort’s first competition will be, however there are loads of options for him. Most likely Belfort will be ticketed to a heavyweight fight since he will not need to reduce weight in that circumstance. An individual could readily give Belfort a title fight against their heavyweight winner Brandon Vera, but they may want to give him an easier fight against a journeyman for example James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is the promotion’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight champion, but he has not fought in a couple of years. Perhaps ONE could reserve that struggle in Brazil. As well, Belfort said he would be interested in boxing and kickboxing fights. I personally think the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but at least he’ll make some good cash 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. According to reports, Cro Cop suffered a stroke and must retire. Cro Cop (38-11-2, 1 NC) will retire at age 44 among the greatest heavyweights to ever compete in the sport. He’ll retire to a 10-fight win streak, one which saw him fight and compete throughout the world to find the best promotions in MMA. We at MMAOB wish Cro Cop the top of luck .
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