MMA TODAY EXCLUSIVE: Lyoto Machida Battles Rising-Star Eryk Anders in UFC Belem Headliner

Following his win at UFC Fresno this past weekend, undefeated UFC middleweight Eryk Anders used his post-fight octagon interview to call out one of the biggest names in UFC history, Lyoto Machida.  Anders got his wish, in the biggest way possible.  Sources close to MMA Today’s Nolan King have confirmed that these two middleweights will headline UFC Belem (UFC Fight Night 125).  The card is set to take place February 3, 2018 at the Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belém, Brazil.  This will be the promotion’s first trip to the state of Pará in the Northern region.  The television broadcast details have not been determined yet for the card.

For the former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-7 UFC), this will mark his 13th main-event fight in his 21-fight UFC career.  Returning from a USADA suspension, Machida headlined UFC Sao Paulo this past October against surging middleweight, Derek Brunson.  In his first octagon appearance in more than two-and-a-half years, “The Dragon” was knocked out halfway through the first round.  The bout marked his third straight loss having suffered defeats to Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold in 2015. Machida, 39, will look to get back into the win column when he battles the unranked Anders.

Machida will certainly have his hands full with the former University of Alabama football star, Anders.  Anders (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) captured the LFA Middleweight Championship in June defeating fellow prospect Brendan Allen.  That victory earned “Ya Boi” a short-notice call to the UFC in July at UFC on Fox 25 where Anders knocked out 17-fight UFC vet, Rafael Natal in the first-round. Anders was slated to fight newcomer John Phillips this past weekend at UFC Fresno but an injury forced Phillips to withdraw.  He was replaced by Anders’ LFA Middleweight Champion successor, Markus Perez.  Anders controlled the fight earning a unanimous-decision victory moving to 2-0 inside the UFC.  Needless to say, Machida will be the biggest test for Anders to date.

With this headlining bout, UFC Belem now features:

  • #14 Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk Anders – Main Event
  • Thiago Santos vs. Anthony Smith
  • #1 (BW) Valentina Shevchenko vs. Priscila Cachoeira
  • #14 Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Morales
  • #15 Tim Johnson vs. Marcelo Golm
  • Maia Stevenson vs. Polyana Viana

 

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