‘Ya Boi’ Anders to face Machida in UFC Belem headliner
Published on Thursday, 12/14/17, at 1:32 p.m. Eastern.
Former Alabama football player Eryk ‘Ya Boi’ Anders has been rapidly making a name for himself in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
First, he sent Rafael Natal into retirement with a vicious first-round knockout in his Octagon debut. Then this past Saturday on the main card of UFC Fight Night 123, Anders demolished previously-undefeated Markus Perez by unanimous decision (30-25, 29-28, 30-26).
Unfortunately for myself and those who listened to me, Anders was unable to get the finish even though the referee appeared poised to call a halt to the fight on 5-6 separate occasions. I say that because I was all over Anders to win inside the distance.
After Saturday’s victory in Fresno, Anders said, “I like going into hostile environments.” On that note, he requested to face former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida in Brazil.
As the old adage goes: Ask and you shall receive.
According to multiple reports today, Anders has been booked to face Machida in the UFC Belem headliner on Feb. 3. This card will be held at the Arena Guilherme Paraense in northeast Brazil.
Anders is 10-0 overall and 2-0 in the UFC. We should also note that he has gone five rounds before in winning the LFA middleweight championship by unanimous decision over Brendan Allen this past June.
The 39-year-old Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) just returned from an 18-month suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. In his comeback bout on Oct. 28, Machida was KO’d by Derek Brunson just 2:30 into the opening round.
Machida owns a 3-4 record since dropping down from light heavyweight to the 185-pound loop. He has lost three consecutive fights and four of the past five. Machida last tasted victory nearly three years ago (12/20/14) when he scored a 62-second KO over C.B. Dollaway.
For those that missed UFC Fresno this past Saturday, Brian Ortega stole the show with a second-round submission over Cub Swanson in the main event.