Four MMA legends are back in the news again, and you’ll be able to read what they are up to beneath.
Bellator Books Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
Bellator has been book legends fights and now that the promotion has signed a light heavyweight contest between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani affirmed the reservation, though Bellator has not announced a date or location for the contest as of yet. Notably, the competition will occur at 205lbs following 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 to get”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 to get a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but instead he will move up to light heavyweight with 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 at the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to this, Sonnen had defeated Quinton”Rampage” Jackson from the tournament quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva before that. Though he is 41 now and no more an elite fighter, Sonnen continues to land big-name matchups due to his entertaining struggles and vibrant personality.
So far as the betting line goes, look for Machida to be a big favorite in this one. His solid takedown defense abilities together 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 both Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson and Sage Northcutt, it appears that ONE Championship isn’t done signing former UFC fighters only yet. The Singapore-based MMA promotion announced over the weekend it has signed former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort to a 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 end his short-lived retirement when he struggles for ONE after this year, likely in Brazil because the advertising looks to expand in South America.
ONE has not declared who Belfort’s first competition is going to be, but there are plenty of options for him. Most likely Belfort will be ticketed to a heavyweight fight since he won’t need to cut weight in that case. ONE could readily give Belfort a name fight against their heavyweight winner Brandon Vera, but they may want to give him an easier fight against a journeyman such as James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is the advertising’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight winner, but he hasn’t fought in two decades. Maybe ONE could reserve that struggle in Brazil. At the same time, Belfort stated he’d be interested in boxing and kickboxing fights. I personally believe the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but he’ll make some great money 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 must retire. Cro Cop (38-11-2, 1 NC) will retire at age 44 as one of the greatest heavyweights to ever compete at the game. He’ll 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 .
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