Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida came back and competed inside the Octagon for the first time in over two years.
If you recall, Machida was suspended for 18 months due to an anti-doping violation.
Machida did declare his usage of a product containing the banned substance 7-keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is a steroid.
Machida also confirmed the use of the product and said he did not know it contained a prohibited drug.
Once his sample was tested, it came back with an elevated 7β-hydroxy-DHEA to DHEA ratio during a sample collection in April 2016.
Machida was set to compete in the main event of UFC Sao Paulo opposite of middleweight talent Derek Brunson, who won the fight.
Now, the UFC has asked Machida to throw hands with middleweight rising star Eryk Anders in the five-round main event of the upcoming UFC Fight Night 125 event.
However, since the bout was announced, there were some eyebrows raised when the booking was announced.
The event takes place roughly three months after “The Dragon” was beat by Brunson in Sao Paulo, which could be problematic in regards to this.
“I’m in some position right now that I’m not able to make a choice,” Machida told MMA Fighting. “As soon as the UFC said to fight, I think I gotta fight.
It doesn’t matter who is my opponent, I gotta fight. If I feel good, if I feel ready, I can fight. Doesn’t matter if it’s two months or one month and a half.”
UFC Belem (Fight Night 125) set to take place on February 3, 2018 at Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil. The event will mark the promotion's first visit to Pará in the country's North region.
The main card will air on FOX Sports 1 while the preliminary card will be split broadcasted on FOX Sports 1 and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.