Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has asked Lyoto Machida to throw hands with middleweight rising star Eryk Anders in the five-round main event of the upcoming UFC Fight Night 125 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Sat., Feb. 3, 2018 inside Mangueirinho Gymnasium in Belem, Brazil.
Machida is Brazilian and well, they needed a hometown headliner.
But there were some eyebrows raised when the booking was announced. The Belem event takes place roughly three months after “The Dragon” was slayed by Derek Brunson in Sao Paulo, which could be problematic in regards to this.
“I’m in some position right now that I’m not able to make a choice,” Machida told MMA Fighting. “As soon as the UFC said to fight, I think I gotta fight. It doesn’t matter who is my opponent, I gotta fight. If I feel good, if I feel ready, I can fight. Doesn’t matter if it’s two months or one month and a half.”
It mattered here.
Machida (22-8) recently returned from a lengthy drug-test suspension, but the time off did little to help him against Brunson. The 39-year old “Dragon” has now been finished in three consecutive losses.
As for Anders (10-0), he’s remained perfect in 10 trips to the cage.
As with most fights, hindsight is 20/20. If Machida creams Anders with a head kick, there’s nothing to complain about. But should the Brazilian go down in flames, it’s going to be another round of slamming.