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Four MMA legends are back in the news , 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 struggles and now 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 place for the competition 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 introduction and defeat both Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort earlier that in the Octagon in what was a comeback 2018 for”The Dragon.” Though he is 40-years-old now, Machida revealed last year that he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. Many thought he was next in line for 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 from a TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko in the semifinals of their Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to this, Sonnen had defeated Quinton”Rampage” Jackson from the championship quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva prior to that. Though he is 41 now and no more 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 big favorite in this one. His strong takedown defense abilities together 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 last year’s signings of both Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson and Sage Northcutt, it appears the ONE Championship isn’t done signing former UFC fighters only yet. The Singapore-based MMA advertising announced over the weekend it has 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 following a KO loss to Machida in May 2018, but ONE gave him an offer he can not deny, and he’ll finish his short lived retirement when he struggles for ONE after this year, likely in Brazil as the promotion looks to expand in South America.
ONE has not announced who Belfort’s first competition is going to be, but there are plenty of options for him. Most probably Belfort will be ticketed into a heavyweight fight as he won’t have to reduce weight in that case. ONE could easily give Belfort a title fight against their heavyweight champion Brandon Vera, but they may want to give him an easier battle against a journeyman for example James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is your advertising’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight champion, but he hasn’t fought in a couple of years. Maybe ONE could reserve that fight in Brazil. At the same time, Belfort said he would be interested in boxing and boxing fights. Personally, I believe the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but at least he’ll make some good money beneath 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 best heavyweights to compete at the game. He’ll retire to a 10-fight win streak, one that saw him fight and compete throughout the world for the best promotions in MMA. We at MMAOB want Cro Cop the top of luck in retirement.
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