It has been six years since the former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (25-8) competed in a bout that took place at 205-pounds. However, that appears to be changing for his upcoming fight.
According to ESPN, a light heavyweight bout between Machida and the three-time UFC title challenger, Chael Sonnen (31-16-1) is currently being finalized for an event to be determined. Both fighters have reportedly verbally agreed to the bout.
“The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen has put targets onto the backs of many fighters and legends in his day and back during their time in the UFC, Machida was one of them. With the fight never ending up coming together, it isn’t surprising that it is now.
For Machida, he currently rides a three-fight winning streak that consists of wins over Eryk Anders, Vitor Belfort, and former Bellator middleweight champion, Rafael Carvalho.
Machida made his promotional debut for Bellator at Bellator 213 when he defeated Carvalho via close split decision in the evening’s co-main event.
Sonnen, on the other hand, is fresh off of participating in the Bellator heavyweight Grand Prix which saw him make his divisional debut in the weight class.
The Oregonian would defeat Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the opening round of the tournament by unanimous decision before suffering a TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko in the semi-finals.
Sonnen’s last fight at light heavyweight came in June 2017 when he defeated Wanderlei Silva in the main event of Bellator’s first show in Madison Square Garden, Bellator 180.
In this potential match-up of UFC veterans, it will be your classic striker vs grappler affair. Though it’s never out of the realm of possibility for Sonnen to surprise us by taking a striking approach as he did against Rampage.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/27/2019