Lyoto Machida Calls Out Michael Bisping After Eking Out Split Decision Over Eryk Anders
Lyoto Machida is back in the win column
Following the toughest stretch of his career with three straight losses, Machida got back on track with a razor close split decision win over Eryk Anders in the main event from UFC Fight Night in Belem, Brazil.
While Machida undoubtedly had his back against the wall going into the fight, he was overjoyed to perform in front of his hometown as the crowd was definitely on his side all night long.
The fight started well for Machida as he cracked Anders with several stiff kicks to open the first round including one particularly hard shot that sent the former University of Alabama football player down to the mat.
Machida remained in control throughout but Anders remained undeterred as he went back to his corner to get ready for the second round.
Once he got through the opening round, Anders started to find his range as he blasted Machida with a couple of hard shots that sent the former champion reeling backwards towards the cage. While he’s suffered a couple of tough knockouts lately, Machida was able to absorb those punishing shots and recompose himself in the center of the Octagon.
Still, Anders was on the attack and he managed to tag Machida with a big knee against the cage that opened a crater on his face as blood began pouring out of his forehead. With Machida wearing the crimson mask, he was definitely being affected by the blood getting into his eyes but he still managed to avoid Anders’ biggest power punches while countering with his own offense.
That Eryk Anders knee though….whew. #UFCBelem https://t.co/3rpBN4kyy4
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) February 4, 2018
Time and again, Anderson pushed forward and Machida was able to stave off the biggest shots thrown by the hulking middleweight prospect before firing back by feeding him a steady diet of kicks to the legs and body.
When the final horn sounded after 25 minutes of action, it really was anybody’s guess as to who would walk out victorious.
Ultimately two judges gave Machida the nod by scores of 49-46 and 48-47 with the final judge giving the fight to Anderson 48-47. Still, Machida did enough to get the win while Anders suffers the first setback of his career.
Take it in.@LyotoMachidaFW does it for his hometown crowd. #UFCBelem pic.twitter.com/r4tX2RNkhc
— UFC (@ufc) February 4, 2018
Afterwards, Machida soaked in the outpouring of emotion from the crowd in Brazil before then turning his attention to the next fight he wants in the UFC.
“Michael Bisping. I’m here for you man,” Machida shouted.
Bisping has been teetering on the brink of retirement lately just recently opting not to take a fight a the UFC’s upcoming card in London. Whether or not that means Bisping is calling it a career remains unknown but if he wants to fight again, Machida would obviously love the chance to face him.
For now, Machida will enjoy the fruits of his victory after earning his first win inside the Octagon since 2014.