Report | Lyoto Machida to return in surprising UFC Belem headliner

Lyoto Machida

On February 3, the UFC will touch down in Belem, Brazil, with what’s sure to be an exciting UFC Fight Night card. While this card already features some interesting bouts, however, it has long been without a main event. Luckily, that seems to have changed, as former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is reported to be returning in the card’s headliner, where he’s expected to take on middleweight prospect Eryk Anders.

This report comes from the ever reliable Nolan King.

If this is indeed to be Belem’s main event, it is undeniably a bit of a shocker, as Lyoto Machida is a decorated former champion and multiple-time headliner, while Anders has competed just twice in the Octagon. To call this a big step up for the former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker would be an understatement.

When we last saw Lyoto Machida in action, he was knocked out in the first round by Derek Brunson. This bout marked his return to action after a long, USADA-administered sit on the bench, which was preceded by back-t0-back stoppage losses to Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold. Machida’s last win occurred in 2014, when he knocked out CB Dollaway in a little over a minute. He’s 22-8 overall.

Anders, meanwhile, is 10-0 as a pro fighter. The former LFA light heavyweight champion, he’s gone 2-0 since joining the UFC, first knocking out the veteran Rafael Natal, and more recently, defeating Markus Perez by decision at the UFC’s recent stop in Fresno, California. 

Who do you think comes out on top in this reported Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk Anders middleweight main event for UFC Belem?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 14/12/2017.