Lyoto Machida Looking to Challenge for Two Bellator Championships

By: Natalie Zamudio
May 25, 2019
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida carries lofty goals as he prepares to make his second Bellator MMA entrance on June 14. The 40-year-old is scheduled to face another mixed martial arts luminary in Chael Sonnen at Bellator 222 in New York. Taking place at the iconic Madison Square Garden, Machida is moving up from middleweight to light heavyweight to face his 42-year-old opponent.

In a recent interview with Danny Segura of MMA Fighting, Machida admits that moving up from 185 pounds to 205 pounds was almost an inevitability. "As I said, I like to be busy, and in order to be busy, I have no choice sometimes. So I said to Bellator that I would like to fight even if it would be 205, I would like to accept any fight and Bellator came up with Chael's name, and I said this is gonna be great, man, this is gonna be outstanding, because especially here in New York, in Madison Square Garden, it means a lot to me."

Machida, who debuted in Bellator with a win against middleweight Rafael Carvalho, is pleased to face such a notable opponent as Sonnen. "I consider Chael one of the guys that put this sport on another level in terms of business, so I have a lot of respect [to] him," said Machida.

Already holding a UFC win over both Bellator middleweight and light heavyweight champions, Machida understands that with a win over Sonnen title shots are on the horizon. "That's the goal, man, that's the goal, a champ against champion, so who knows," said the fighter. "I already have a victory over both of those guys and you never know what's gonna happen in the future, but I hope that makes a lot of sense to fight Ryan Bader and also to fight Gegard Mousassi. Just a matter of time."

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