Former UFC light heavyweight champion and current 205-pound Bellator contender Lyoto Machida believes it is time to go back to the middleweight division.
After suffering three straight losses in rematches against Gegard Mousasi, Phil Davis ,and Ryan Bader, the ‘Dragon’ has started to feel like he would do better at the smaller weight class.
In fact, not only is Lyoto wanting to go to 185 once more, but he also knows who he wants to fight next. Currently 1-1 against the ‘Dreamcatcher’, the Brazilian believes it is time for himself and Mousasi to settle the score in the Bellator cage. In Machida’s opinion, a trilogy fight makes perfect sense, since there are no other visible challengers for Gegard’s belt at the moment.
“I want to fight at middleweight, which is my division,” Lyoto told Ag Fight. “I believe that’s my weight class. I would like to have a trilogy with Mousasi. I dominated (him) in the first one. The second one was close, a duller fight that could have gone either way. I think a third one makes total sense. Mousasi is the champion, but I see no challengers for him at the moment. I think I would be the perfect fit for him at middleweight now.”
After losing to Ryan Bader in the first round of the light heavyweight Grand Prix, Lyoto feels ready to return to middleweight. Despite having lost to a man he had already defeated in 2012, Machida looks at his participation in the tournament as something he did to challenge himself and does not regret entering it.
“I had a great camp. I was prepared for the fight, but someone has to lose and someone has to win. My gameplan was working. Talk is cheap, but to do it is different. When I got the opportunity to fight in the GP, I took it as a challenge. I wanted to test myself. I wanted to see how I would do among those big guys. That’s how I looked at the GP.”
“In MMA, that power difference gives you a certain edge.” Lyoto continued. “I felt the weight difference, the power. I fought for five rounds. It was hard, but I kept my cool. Bader is highly professional. He’s very good and technical. He’s a champion.”
Currently on a three-fight losing skid, Lyoto Machida (26-11) has not won a fight since his second Bellator outing in June 2019. Back then, the 42-year-old was paired up against fellow UFC veteran Chael Sonnen and scored TKO win by flying knee. The victory came right after a successful debut in the promotion, in which ‘The Dragon’ edged out former middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho via split decision.