UFC legend Lyoto Machida snapped a three-fight losing streak on Saturday night (Feb. 3), with a decision victory over undefeated up-and-comer Eryk Anders.
In front of fans in his native Brazil, the “Dragon” (24-8) took a narrow split decision — with the judges scoring the fight 49-46, 48-47 and 47-48. It was Machida’s first victory since December 2014.
“I can’t put a price on it,” he said after the fight. “It’s my return to my home city. It’s amazing. We used a lot of kicks, a lot of movement. He’s a very tough fighter, but we came out with a victory.”
When asked who he’d like to fight next, Machida called out former champion Michael Bisping. “Michael Bisping, I am here for you, man,” he said.
For Anders (10-1), it was his first professional loss. He landed the main event in just third appearance in the Octagon, and gave the legend a lot to handle.
Both fighters are counter-strikers, so while Anders patiently waited for an opening, Machida circled away from him throughout the entire fight and continued to score leg kicks from a distance.
Anders managed to rock Machida a couple times while timing his powerful straight left as Machida threw his leg kicks. And, the most significant strike of the fight arguably belonged to Anders, who opened a deep cut on Machida’s forehead in the third round with a knee.
In the co-main event, No. 1 bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko officially made her UFC flyweight debut… and completedly dominated Priscila Cachoeira, who was handed her first loss.
Shevchenko (15-3) hurt Cachoeira with punches in the opening minute, before taking her to the ground and landing heavy ground strikes. This was the same story in Round 2, before Shevchenko finished the fight with a rear-naked choke at 4:25 in the round.
Shevchenko fought Amanda Nunes for the 135-pound title at UFC 215 last September, but lost via split decision. Now, she’s looking to fight inaugural flyweight champion Nicco Montaño, who won the title in December.