Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is now a Bellator fighter. The Brazilian legend will make his promotional debut this December, when Bellator touches down in Hawaii, where he will take on former middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho.
Having worked with both the UFC and Bellator, Lyoto Machida has some interesting insight into the differences between the two massive MMA promotions. The main thing he’s noticed so far is that Bellator’s top decision-makers are much more accessible than those of the UFC.
“I’m speaking from the bottom of my heart: I’m very satisfied,” Lyoto Machida told MMAjunkie of his relationship with Bellator recently. “I’m very happy, truly.”
“It was a very tough decision [to leave the UFC],” Machida continued. “I really like the UFC. I can only say nice things about my old home. I had a good relationship with everyone. Even if it became distant, I had a good relationship with all of them. Even with the Fertittas, they always respected me a lot, so I can’t complain. Because of that, it was a tough decision.”
“I’m loving the treatment I’ve been getting from Bellator,” Machida concluded. “It feels like I’m home. I’m feeling a difference in that sense, because in the UFC, I felt very distant from everything. I wanted to talk, I wanted to ask for something, and I felt very distant. Not at Bellator. I feel close, because I talk directly to Mike Kogan, I talk directly to Scott Coker. So that makes it a lot easier. I’ve been feeling at home and, the way I see it, relationship is everything.”
Lyoto Machida will enter the Bellator cage on a two-fight winning streak, having bested Eryk Anders by decision and Vitor Belfort by knockout in his last two fights in the Octagon. How do you think the former UFC champion will perform in the Bellator cage?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/18/2018.