Machida Gets By Anders in Native Brazil
Lyoto Machida, in his home country of Brazil, managed to get past Eryk Anders and end his unbeaten streak, whiel also snapping a three-fight losing skid at the latest UFC Fight Night in Belem.
Anders started the fight patiently, checking a couple of Machida’s kicks before getting knocked down by a leg kick. Machida jumped into the guard, but soon got out of it and looked for a way to get past Anders’ legs without getting kicked. After a couple of minutes of standing around and delivering leg kicks, Machida got onto the ground with Anders before the two scrambled back to standing. At the end of the first, Anders looked absolutely frustrated, as his inexperience was showing.
Anders caught Machida with a hook early in the second, but The Dragon hooked up with Anders against a cage wall, preventing Anders from getting a takedown. The two paced around the ring, patient and conserving energy in case the fight went a full five rounds. Anders tried to get on the inside, but Machida managed to hold Anders back to a distance.
Machida started the third round with a body kick and bringing Anders to the ground. A knee from Anders, however, opened a bad cut on Machida’s face. Anders began to pressure forward and cut off the Octagon. Anders landed a knee, while Machida hit a right hand to Anders’ head as the two broke a brief clinch. Anders rocked Machida with a punch, backing Machida to the fence as Anders went in and looked for a double-leg takedown or a trip before the end of the third.
Machida landed a body kick and a knee early in the fourth, trying to take back the Octagon control and control of the fight early. Anders, however, began to chase the former champion down with hard-swinging punches. Machida’s back was against the cage once more, as Anders tried to get a takedown yet again. Anders finally secured the takedown with less than a minute left to go in the round, but Machida managed to get the action back to the feet easily.
Most of the first half of the final round saw Machida once again retreating as Anders moved forward. Following a brief exchange, Anders once again got Machida’s back up against the cage and looked to trip him, but Machida was able to shove him off this time around. Machida landed a kick, while Anders threw wildly, looking for one, strong punch to end the fight. Machida attempted a spinning kick, but Anders got behind Machida and landed a hard takedown. Machida, however, got back up and the two exchanged on all cylinders until the final horn.
While one judge scored the contest 48-47 in favor of Anders, another scored it 48-47 Machida and a third gave Machida the win with a slightly controversial 49-46 scoring.
Following the fight, Machida called out Michael Bisping, who plans to fight once more before retirement.
In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko was absolutely dominant in her flyweight debut, defeating Priscila Cachoeira. Shevchenko brought the fight to the ground, where she was easily able to control the fight, attempt submissions and land some hard ground-and-pound. This continued into the second, and many wondered why referee Mario Yamasaki did not stop the fight or why Cachoeira’s corner didn’t throw in the towel. While Cachoeira showed heart and submission defense, she was forced to tap to a choke in the end.
Following the win, Shevchenko called out the inaugural and current UFC Women’s flyweight champion, Nicco Montano, for a title fight.
UFC Belem Main Card (10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1)
Middleweight: Lyoto Machida def. Eryk Anders via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)
Women’s Flyweight: Valentina Shevchenko def. Priscila Cachoeira via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 2, 4:25)
Catchweight (161 lbs.): Michel Prazeres def. Desmond Green via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Heavyweight: Timothy Johnson def. Marcelo Golm via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Bantamweight: Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Middleweight: Thiago Santos def. Anthony Smith via TKO (Rd. 2, 1:03)
UFC Belem Preliminary Card (8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 2)
Welterweight: Sergio Moraes def. Tim Means via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight: Alan Patrick def. Damir Hadzovic via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)
Women’s Strawweight: Polyana Viana def. Maia Stevenson via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 3:50)
Bantamweight: Iuri Alcantara def. Joe Soto via TKO (Rd. 1, 1:06)
UFC Belem Early Prelims Card (7:30 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)
Flyweight: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Joseph Morales via TKO (Rd. 2, 4:34)