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Lyoto’s title bid turns political boon in Brazil

Lyoto, always with Brazil's colors on his short, overcame Randy Couture in his last fight. Photo: UFC.

The news broke in the “Panorama Politico” column of this Sunday’s “O Globo” newspaper. Lyoto Machida’s upcoming fight against UFC champion Jon Jones may be used as a political tool in the Brazilian state of Pará, where the karateka has lived since he was a kid and is beloved by all.

As it goes, the day after the fight, December 11, the people of Pará will head to the polls for a plebiscite to decide whether the vast state shall be split into three: Novo Pará, Tapajós, and Carajás.

Leaders of the movement against dividing the state want to convince Lyoto to be the poster boy for the campaign to say “no” to succession. Besides the former UFC champion, the campaign is trying to bring another local star on board: soccer player Paulo Henrique “Ganso”, who plays on team Santos and the Brazilian national soccer team.

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