Bellator News: Light heavyweight title bout on the cards for Machida if he manages to get past Mousasi
41-year-old MMA veteran Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida is convinced that a win in the middleweight bout against Gegard Mousasi in the co-main event of Bellator 228 on 28th September will propel him to a light heavyweight title shot versus the current champion Ryan Bader, whom he knocked out cold when they met back in 2012 at UFC on FOX 4.
Machida, who is currently undefeated in Bellator after consecutive wins over former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho in the co-main event of Bellator 213 and Chael Sonnen at Bellator 222, is set to face Gegard Mousasi, who he has previously beaten at UFC Fight Night 36 in February 2014.
In a recent interview with MMA H.E.A.T. Machida has revealed that he was initially supposed to fight the current middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. at Bellator 228 but since he pulled out, Machida was offered a rematch with Mousasi which he readily accepted. Machida further went on to speak about the rematch with Mousasi, a probable title bout against Bader, and his plans for retirement.
Machida sounded very confident about beating Mousasi for the second time and he has also mentioned that he thinks he can finish Gegard this time around. However, ‘The Dragon’ has to go through a gruelling 20-pound weight cut in order to make weight for the fight and although he admits it is a bit of a concern, he believes that he will be fit and ready come fight night thanks to his conditioning.
Hunt for championship gold
The Brazilian said that he is surprised to not be fighting for the belt three fights into his stint with Bellator, but also credits the situation to his willingness to be active and in the ‘rhythm’ instead of waiting for big fights.
Lyoto claimed that he will be fighting for the title after the bout with Mousasi.
“That’s going to be the obvious situation to fight for the belt at 205. That’s going to be great. I won’t need to cut some weight. That’s the best part. I want to fight for that title, definitely.”
Although the rematch with Bader is highly anticipated, Lyoto does not care about who he has to go through next. All he wants is the championship gold wrapped around his waist.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s going to be at 185 or 205. I want to become the Bellator champion. It is going to be my legacy, winning two different belts” said the former UFC light heavyweight champion on the prospect of being the champion in two different MMA promotions (UFC & Bellator).
Is it time to walk into the sunset yet?
The 41-year-old veteran believes that he still has a couple of years in him before he calls time on his fighting career.
“I have no idea when I have to stop fighting, I still consider myself at a high level of training and fighting. I want to keep fighting for a couple of more years and then we will see what happens.”
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:35 IST