Bellator continues to make big acquisitions and now they’ve made a rather unexpected one as they’ve picked up a former UFC champion.
ESPN is reporting that former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida has agreed to a multi-fight deal with Bellator.
The move comes as a big surprise as Machida has never seemed to have any issues with the UFC or vice versa. He also has gotten back on a winning streak with his most recent win being the sensational highlight reel knockout of Vitor Belfort at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro.
“The Dragon” has been a member of the UFC roster since 2007 when he made his promotional debut against Sam Hoger. Machida would go on to earn his first career title shot after accumulating an impressive undefeated 14-0 record.
In his first UFC title shot, he made the best of it as he disposed of the champion, Rashad Evans in just two rounds.
In the battle that followed with the legendary, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was plenty of controversy as although Machida earned the unanimous decision victory. This fight has been regarded as one of the biggest robberies in MMA history and was treated so much so that Rua got an immediate rematch. One that he would win knocking out Machida in the first round.
Going 3-2 in the fights that followed, one of which including another title shot, Machida would then drop down to the middleweight division where he would look to capture a second divisional crown.
After racking up two wins over Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi, Machida had earned his title shot with the champion, Chris Weidman.
Even though he didn’t come out on top, it was one of the most exciting fights of Machida’s career and one that showed he deserved to be in there with Weidman.
Six fights and four years later the Brazilian is now onto a new venture. One that could possibly see him rematching with Bellator’s current middleweight champion, Mousasi.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/22/2018