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UFC Belem video recap: Lyoto Machida beats Eryk Anders by split decision

In the UFC Fight Night 125 main event, Lyoto Machida got back into the winning column against Eryk Anders.

UFC Fight Night: Machida v Anders Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

In the UFC Fight Night 125 main event, Lyoto Machida picked up his first win since 2014.

The former light heavyweight champion faced the previously-undefeated and promising Eryk Anders in Belem, Brazil on Saturday night. In a lackluster outing, “The Dragon” picked up a somewhat controversial split-decision win.

Throughout five rounds, the contest was relatively low-volume; Anders pressured the Brazilian legend for most of the fight, but he seemingly gave Machida a little too much respect — he didn’t throw enough offense. That’s not to say Machida did; he backed up for the majority of the bout, landing some leg kicks and straight punches, his usual elusive self.

Anders landed three takedowns unofficially in the headliner, but the former college football player was unable to do much with the dominant positions. Machida, to his credit, showed off solid takedown defense in the affair.

Five media members scored the fight for Machida on, but the majority had it Anders’ way.

What was the highlight of the fight?

Machida vs. Anders was not a good fight. The highlight is Machida not getting knocked out for the third time in a row. And I’m dead serious.

Where do these two go from here?

Machida called out former middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping in his post-fight interview, and I’d be OK with that. It seems like it’s a long time coming, and both athletes are at similar spots in their respective careers. Machida vs. Bisping or Vitor Belfort ... book it.

Anders will take away a lot from this fight. It didn’t go his way, but people always say fighters learn more from losses than wins. He’ll come back better than ever in his next bout; still, I do think Anders losing to Machida (despite a perhaps debatable decision) shows that he is green and that, at 30 years old, his ceiling might be lower than we expected.

Watch now, later, or never?

You don’t need to watch this fight. There are countless better things you could do with 25 minutes.

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