The Legend Continues in Belem

UFC Fight Night: Machida v AndersThe UFC took a page out of the book of the WWE as the most successful sports entertainment business in the world.

25 years ago the UFC truly began on the path towards becoming a legitimate sport and they did it through the underground following that would push it to the mainstream.

Along the way, they found out that stars can help the sport grow in a major way as visible athletes that can go out and talk up the promotion can help them.

This is what the WWE has done for years as they have never sold themselves as a league above all else.

Instead, they focused on the individuals that fans could connect with and they tailored their shows for those athletes.

Whether they created a personality that everyone hated or everyone loved the fact was that people still tuned in to watch.

The UFC saw this and they began focusing more on the individual and building superstars in the sport.

Throughout the two and a half decades of the UFC, there have been plenty of stars and the UFC has always been able to find the next crop to help them grow into a bigger sport.

The head of the WWE, Vince McMahon had always said that building stars was the best way to sell a sport.

The only thing that he always warned about was that he never wanted to own a promotion like the UFC because the results cannot be pre-determined.

Without that pre-determination of who wins and who loses means that as much as you wanted to build one athlete they could lose and all of that work a promotion had put in was lost.

That is what the UFC has realized over the last year as their stars are running out quickly leaving them with nobody to help sell the promotion.

With young athletes like Paige VanZant and Sage Northcutt both not ready to step into the top of their divisions the UFC lost their rising stars.

Then Ronda Rousey lost two fights in a row and doesn’t seem to be returning anytime soon as she signed with the WWE.

The only star left is Conor McGregor but he hasn’t fought in an octagon for over a year while his future in the octagon is up in the air.

The UFC is without a star and that has proven to be terrible for the promotion who had their worst year in a very long time in 2017.

Viewership was down across the board and a lot of that had to do with the fact that the UFC has failed to build other fighters up to replace the stars that fell.

There are not many fighters in this age that can sell fights and who are known outside of the MMA fanbase.

As they only just start the new year there are plenty of opportunities to get those stars as some fighters are rising and rising fast.

If the UFC handles things right they could begin to replenish the star power that they lacked throughout 2017.

One of those stars with a lot of potential and very little recognition has been Eryk Anders who has the story and the background the be a massive star in the UFC.

Anders was a former Alabama linebacker who won a National Championship in 2009 before bouncing around trying to make a living as a player.

He pivoted to the world of MMA and put together a great record including two straight wins in the UFC.

After his second win, Anders was looking to take a leap and prove to the UFC that he can be the star they need.mma-sidebar.fw

He called out the legend, Lyoto Machida in an attempt to get his biggest fight ever and possibly take advantage of a legend that has not been so legendary.

Machida had just re-entered the UFC after a year-long USADA ban and took a loss to Derek Brunson, his third straight loss.

Anders got that fight and looked to take some of that legend off of Machida before the concerns became too much for the Brazilian.

Machida came into the fight looking to a renewed focus on his karate background in the hopes that it could give the young fighter fits like he had done so much in the past.

Anders needed some time to adjust as he struggled to figure things out at times but made it a fight.

He landed a number of big shots against Machida and had him in trouble a few times in the fight even opening him up in the second round.

Anders did plenty to win the fight but Machida did plenty to win as well leaving it as a tight decision for the judges.

Anders just couldn’t get the decision losing his first fight but he proved he can hang with a legend like Machida.

For the veteran, the win was a look back to his old style and if he keeps that old style a run towards the title could have just started.

Once again someone that could have been a star took a loss and although there is time for him to come back the search continues for the UFC’s future stars.

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