Late last week, surprising news came out stating that former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida had agreed to a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA. On Tuesday, “The Dragon” revealed during a press conference that Bellator made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Bellator’s current middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi had something to say about Machida’s recent signing. For him, there is a much more deep-rooted reason.
“He’s older, and there was drug testing in the UFC,” Mousasi told MMA Fighting. “But if I fight him, he would need a lot of drug testing, too.”
Machida was slapped with an 18-month suspension in November 2016 after disclosing his use of 7-keto-DHEA, which USADA classifies as an “anabolic agent.” But according to Mousasi, there is actual proof that the 40-year-old Machida may have indeed been on performance-enhancing drugs.
“Look at his physique, I think that says enough,” Mousasi said. “He’s a skilled guy, no doubt about it, but when you get older, everything goes a little bit downward. Fighters, they cannot fight until 47 years old as they did before. If they’re clean, it’s difficult, especially against high-class fighters.”
“They can beat a little bit lower guys, but against top competition, it’s difficult when you’re 41 or whatever and still be able to physically – skillwise, maybe, but on the highest level, small things make a big difference.”
Mousasi and Machida had already fought each other in February 2014, with the latter winning via unanimous decision. Now that they are both fighting under Bellator, Mousasi says he is wiling to run it back.
“I think he’s in a different stage now, and if he wins his (debut) fight, and he’s the contender, we’re 100% gonna (fight again).”
Machida (24-8, with 12 wins by stoppage), is currently on a two-fight win streak after a three-fight skid. He last saw action at UFC 224, where he sent Vitor Belfort into retirement via a second-round front kick knockout.