Machida seals victory in front of home crowd

Read on for UFC Belem main event results...

On the 11th anniversary of his UFC debut, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida thrilled the fans in his hometown of Belem, as the 39-year-old eked out a five-round split decision over middleweight prospect Eryk Anders at Arena Guilherme Paraense.

Scores were 49-46, 48-47 and 47-48 for the No. 13-ranked Machida, now 23-8. Alabama’s Anders falls to 10-1.

Machida began the fight by firing kicks at Anders’ legs, and with a little over a minute gone, one of those kicks put Anders on the deck. Machida followed him to the mat and landed some strikes, but Anders stayed busy from his back. “The Dragon” stood and kept chopping at his grounded foe’s legs until Anders was able to rise with 90 seconds remaining. But the former University of Alabama football standout wasn’t able to close the distance on the Brazilian.

A straight left hand by Anders in the opening minute of round two allowed him to get inside and lock up with his foe, but Machida got loose and went back to the outside to continue his long-range striking. Anders did get a couple more lefts in just before the end of the frame, but he wasn’t able to follow-up.

An early body kick by Machida was caught by Anders, who dumped his opponent on the mat, and though the Brazilian got up quickly, on the way up he caught a knee that opened a cut on his forehead. Anders remained patient, which allowed Machida to maintain control, but again, a late left hand got the former champion’s attention.

Both fighters got busier early in round four, and around the midway point of the frame, an Anders left hand mixed with an off-balance Machida put the veteran on the deck briefly. When the two rose, Anders tried to keep his opponent pinned to the fence, but Machida got loose. With under a minute left, Anders got a takedown that Machida jumped right up from, sending the fight into a fifth round.

In a fight that was close throughout, it was no surprise that the fifth and final round was just as tight, with both fighters getting in their shots. But with less than 30 seconds left, a big takedown by Anders was an important scoring move, even if he didn’t get to keep Machida there for long. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough on two of three judges’ scorecards, as “The Dragon” snapped a three-fight losing streak and resurrected his career with his first win since 2014.

Watch Past Fights

Sunday, May 27
Liverpool, United Kingdom


Check out the highlights from the exciting and sometimes tense weigh-ins for Fight Night Liverpool starring Stephen Thompson and Darren Till and airing live and free on FS1. Prelims get underway at 11am/8am ETPT Sunday.
May 26, 2018
Megan Olivi takes you inside the UFC Performance Institute, a full-service training and recovery center. Sponsored by Hotel Artemis, in theaters June 8 - starring Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Charlie Day, Dave Bautista and more.
May 26, 2018
UFC welterweight Neil Magny will be donating $15,000 of his Fight Night Liverpool purse to help a young girl and her family with medical bills. Watch Magny in the co-main event this Sunday live on FS1.
May 26, 2018
Watch the Fight Night Liverpool Weigh-in on Saturday, May 26 at 10am/7am ETPT.
May 26, 2018