Four MMA legends have been back in the news again, and you can read what they are up to below.
Bellator Books Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
Bellator has been reserve legends struggles and this time that the promotion has signed a light heavyweight contest between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani affirmed the booking, though Bellator hasn’t announced a date or place for the contest as of yet. Notably, the competition will take place 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 defeat both Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort before that at the Octagon in what was a comeback 2018 for”The Dragon.” Though he is 40-years-old today, Machida showed last year he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Many believed he had been next in line for a rematch against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, but instead he will move back up to light heavyweight for this significant 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 their Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to this, Sonnen had conquered Quinton”Rampage” Jackson in the tournament quarterfinals and Wanderlei Silva prior to that. Though he’s 41 now and no more an elite fighter, Sonnen continues to land big-name matchups because of his entertaining fights and vibrant personality.
So far as the gambling line goes, look for Machida to be a big favorite in this one. His solid takedown defense skills together with vicious knockout power contrary to 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 seems the ONE Championship is not done signing former UFC fighters only yet. The Singapore-based MMA promotion announced over the weekend it’s signed former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort into a 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 deny, and he’ll end his short-lived retirement when he struggles for ONE later this year, probably in Brazil because the promotion 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 is going to be ticketed to a heavyweight fight as he won’t need to reduce weight in that circumstance. ONE could readily give Belfort a title fight against their heavyweight winner Brandon Vera, but they might want to give him an easier battle against a journeyman such as James McSweeney. Roger Gracie is your promotion’s light heavyweight/cruiserweight champion, but he has not fought in a couple of years. Perhaps ONE could reserve that fight in Brazil. As well, Belfort stated he would be interested in boxing and kickboxing fights. Personally, I think the 41-year-old Belfort should have stayed retired, but at least he’ll make some good cash under the ONE bannerads. 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 has to retire. Cro Cop (38-11-2, 1 NC) will retire at age 44 among the greatest heavyweights to compete at the sport. He will retire on a 10-fight win streak, one which saw him fight and compete all over the world to find the best promotions in MMA. We at MMAOB wish Cro Cop the top of luck .
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