Few fighters get the opportunity that Eryk Anders will have later tonight (Sat., Feb. 3, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 125 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil.
The rising middleweight contender will have the chance to overthrow former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida on enemy soil in just his third Octagon appearance. That’s an incredible step up in competition and responsibility so early into a UFC career, especially considering Anders has only fought 10 times as a professional.
Still, UFC sees a lot in the 30-year-old contender and is giving him the keys to his own car this weekend in Belem. Anders will either rise to the occasion and speed past the finish line or crash and burn on national television. It’s one hell of a situation to be in given the lack of experience Anders has on the big stage, but it’s an opportunity he’d be foolish to pass up.
Luckily for the former collegiate football star, power and time is on his side. Not only has Anders displayed the type of fight-ending knockout ability that often propels contenders to the front of the line, but the powerful Alabama native is facing an aging veteran on the last legs of his career. Machida is obviously still dangerous if he’s able to counter and utilize his creative striking, but he’s a shell of his former self at this point in time.
It’s crazy to think that Anders’ career started back in 2015 but here we are. After a few stints on the open market, the promising middleweight is one win away from knocking off a former UFC champion in one of the toughest places in the world to compete.
Win or lose, Anders will come out a more experienced fighter this weekend in Belem, especially if he’s able to block out the main event jitters and implement his own game plan.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 125 fight card, starting with the UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.