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 continues to reserve legends struggles and this time the promotion has signed a light heavyweight contest between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani affirmed the booking, though Bellator has not 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 defeat both Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort before 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 he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Many believed he was next in line to get a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but rather he will move back up to light heavyweight with this big struggle against Sonnen.
Sonnen (31-16-1) is currently 2-2 at Bellator and is coming off of a TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko in the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to this, Sonnen had conquered Quinton”Rampage” Jackson from the championship quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva before that. Though he’s 41 now and no longer 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, start looking for Machida to be a big favorite in this one. His strong takedown defense abilities 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 last year’s signings of Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson and Sage Northcutt, it seems that ONE Championship isn’t done signing former UFC fighters just yet. The Singapore-based MMA advertising announced over the weekend it has signed former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort into some brand new, multi-fight contract. Belfort was released from the UFC after announcing his retirement after a KO loss to Machida in May 2018, but ONE gave him an offer he can’t refuse, and he’ll finish his short lived retirement when he struggles for ONE after this year, probably in Brazil as the advertising looks to expand in South America.
ONE hasn’t declared who Belfort’s first opponent is going to be, however there are plenty of alternatives for him. Most likely Belfort will be ticketed to a heavyweight fight as he won’t have to reduce weight in that circumstance. An individual could readily give Belfort a name fight against their heavyweight champion Brandon Vera, but they might want to provide him an easier fight against a journeyman for example James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is the advertising’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight winner, but he hasn’t fought in two years. Perhaps ONE could book that struggle in Brazil. As well, Belfort said 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. 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 compete in the game. He’ll retire on a 10-fight win series, one which saw him fight and compete throughout the world for the best promotions in MMA. We at MMAOB wish Cro Cop the very best of luck .
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