Cowboy Cerrone reestablished himself as a threat in the 170-pound division Sunday night, rewarding DraftKings owners along the way. Richard Mann is back to recap standout performers from UFC Austin.
Fantasy AnalysisMachida squeaked out a split decision over Eryk Anders back on Feb. 3, picking up his first victory with the promotion since December 2014. "The Dragon" is a long way from competing against ranked UFC middleweights, and will be nearly 40 years old when he enters the Octagon in May. Both fighters are nearing the end of the line in legendary MMA careers, and it seems likely that each of them will hang up the gloves after this matchup -- win or lose. Ten years ago this fight would have been one of the best the promotion could make, but now each fighter is fading fast, and is under the restrictions of USADA drug testing as well. Determining the winner here will likely come down to which UFC legend has more left in the tank, or simply a matter of who lands the first power shot. Also noteworthy is that Belfort is a product of Rio de Janeiro, negating any home field advantage Machida may have had fighting in front of a Brazilian crowd.
Fantasy AnalysisBelfort had originally planned to retire last June, but after a win over Nate Marquardt decided to give it another go in the Octagon. He was scheduled to face a younger and more athletic fighter in Uriah Hall in January, but after a bad weight cut sent Hall to the hospital, Belfort was left without an opponent. He'll now take on another fighter that played an equally-important role in laying the foundation for what the UFC is today. Lyoto Machida may be just 1-3 in his last four UFC bouts, but is coming off a split-decision victory over Eryk Anders on Feb. 3. With both Belfort and Machida coming off wins, the time was right to book the "legend vs. legend" matchup. With each fighter at or approaching 40 years of age, clearly neither is what they were in their prime, especially given the fact that UFC fighters are now subject to USADA's anti-doping rules. Predicting this fight will come down to whoever has more left in the tank, or it could simply be a matter of who is able to connect with a power shot first.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's unclear if Gonzalez had his contract expire or was simply given his release papers, but he's one of the most prominent of 13 fighters to be removed from the roster this week. Gonzalez, 34, sports a 7-2 record under the Bellator banner, with his only losses coming to very respectable opponents in Michael Page, and most recently, Lorenz Larkin. He even has a win against top UFC prospect Curtis Millender back in 2015. Gonzalez and the remainder of the jobless fighters will look to catch on with other promotions, with one of the most attractive options being PFL's upcoming tournaments that award a $1 million prize to the winner. Other fighters left without a roster spot after the announcement include Alexis Dufresne, Ben Reiter, Francis Carmont, Francisco France, Georgi Karakhanyan, Kendall Grove, Kevin Casey, L.C. Davis, Mike Rhode, Philipe Lins, Steve Garcia and Steve Kozola.
Fantasy AnalysisThe fight will be Roberson's second since signing with the UFC. He won his debut in November with a first-round submission against Darren Stewart. His last five MMA fights have all ended in first-round victories, including a knockout against Ryan Spann 15 seconds into a bout in July which earned him his UFC contract.
Fantasy AnalysisThe veteran Brazilian has won four of his last five UFC fights, most recently defeating Nate Marquardt by split decision in November. He owns a 4-2 record in UFC fights in his native country. His most recent fight in Brazil was a second-round submission victory over Jack Hermansson in November, 2016.
Fantasy AnalysisThe 31-year-old has lost his only two career UFC fights, both by unanimous decision. He was defeated by Cody Stamman (who has also defeated Duquesnoy) in July and Sean O'Malley in December. His last victory was a knockout of Jared Papazian at CXF 7 in April.
Fighters Who May Be Returning Soon