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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Eryk Anders after suffering first-ever loss at UFC ‘Belem?’

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

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 125 blew the roof off Mangueirinho Gymnasium last Saturday night (Feb. 3, 2018) in Belem, Brazil.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Priscila Cachoeira, who was beat down and eventually submitted by Valentina Shevchenko (see it again here). And Joe Soto, who was knocked out by Iuri Alcantara in the very first round. But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Eryk Anders.

The former football player-turned mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter was looking for his eleventh straight win -- and biggest one to date — by trying to hand Lyoto Machida his fourth straight loss. And he carries the power in his hands to get it done.

Unfortunately for “Ya Boi,” he ran into “The Dragon” of old.

And not the striking expert who is capable of turning your lights out; rather, the elusive one who was just so hard to hit. And that was the case for Anders all night, as he kept looking for the home run, but just never quite got there, whiffing on a lot of power punches.

When he did manage to connect, it wasn’t clean enough to hurt Lyoto to the point of putting him in danger, and his game of stalking his prey went on with little success. In the end, the ringside judges gave the hometown hero the split-decision win, and handed Anders his first-ever loss. A decision he obviously wasn’t too happy with.

The bright side for Anders is he has youth on his side, as he is only 30 years old, which means he has plenty of time to polish up his overall game and bounce back from this minor setback.

Unlike Lyoto, who could’ve been on his way out with another loss.

I like Anders, I think he has the potential to do some major damage, but he needs to tighten up his overall game a bit more if he wants to get there.

As for who he faces next, I’d like to see him take on Cezar Jesus Ferreira, who was last seen taking out Nate Marquardt at UFC Fight Night 120. Cezar has been in the game for quite some time now, but just hasn’t been able to get over the hump to even get close to smelling a title shot.

If he can get a win over Anders, it won’t get him there, either, but it will be a good name to add his resume to get him going. For Anders, getting a win over this longtime veteran could be another boost he needs to start a second win streak and get him back to a main event.

Unless, of course, you have a better idea?

For complete UFC Fight Night 125: “Machida vs Anders” results and play-by-play updates click here.