Four MMA legends are back in the news , and you’ll be able to read what they’re up to below.
Bellator Books Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
Bellator continues to book legends struggles and now that the advertising has signed a light heavyweight competition between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani confirmed the booking, though Bellator has not announced a date or location for the competition as of yet. Notably, the contest will occur 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 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 a lot of gas left in the tank. Many believed he had been next in line for a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but rather he’ll move up to light heavyweight with this big struggle against Sonnen.
Sonnen (31-16-1) is 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 that, Sonnen had defeated Quinton”Rampage” Jackson from the tournament quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva before that. Though he’s 41 now and no more an elite fighter, Sonnen proceeds to land big-name matchups due to his entertaining struggles and vibrant personality.
As far as the betting line goes, look for Machida to be a big favorite in this one. His solid takedown defense skills 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 appears that ONE Championship isn’t done signing former UFC fighters just 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 after a KO loss to Machida in May 2018, but ONE gave him an offer he can’t deny, and he will finish his short-lived retirement when he struggles for ONE after this year, probably in Brazil because the advertising looks to expand in South America.
ONE has not announced who Belfort’s first opponent is going to be, however there are loads of alternatives for him. Most likely Belfort is going to be ticketed into a heavyweight fight as he will not need to cut weight in that circumstance. ONE could easily give Belfort a title fight against their heavyweight champion Brandon Vera, but they may want to provide him an easier battle against a journeyman for example James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is the advertising’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight winner, but he has not fought in a couple of decades. Perhaps ONE could book that fight in Brazil. As well, Belfort stated he’d be interested in boxing and boxing fights. Personally, I think the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but at least he’ll make some good cash under the 1 banner. 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 must retire. Cro Cop (38-11-2, 1 NC) will retire at age 44 among the best heavyweights to compete in the game. He will retire on a 10-fight win series, 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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