Lyoto Machida has joined Bellator and ideas for opponents are coming out as Bellator MMA President Scott Coker mentions Fedor Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald.
Less than a week has passed since news broke that former UFC champion, Lyoto Machida is leaving the Octagon and heading over to Bellator MMA. As discussions develop about when he will debut and against whom; Bellator President, Scott Coker, offered some insight during an interview with Danny Segura of MMA Fighting.
“Lyoto did tell me that he wants to fight in both weight classes, that he wants to stay busy and that he will fight anybody,” Coker said. “I think that one of the fights I’d like to see is the winner of the Gegard [Mousasi] vs. Rory [MacDonald] fight. He told me that he wants to fight Fedor [Emelianenko] as well. But we’ll see, he’s got a lot of good fights ahead of him.”
Emelianenko is currently preparing for his next fight as a part of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. He’s scheduled for a semifinal bout against Chael Sonnen at a later date in 2018.
“Let’s see how Fedor comes out of the tournament,” Coker said. “He has his hands full with Chael. If he becomes the champ and Lyoto wants to fight Fedor, why not? Why wouldn’t we put that fight together, that would be a lot of fun.”
Machida is riding a two-fight win streak. He last appeared at UFC 224 where he defeated Vitor Belfort via knock out in the second round of their fight. Before that he earned a close split decision victory over rising prospect, Erik Anders, at UFC Fight Night 125.
Machida spent more than a decade in the UFC, dating back to his debut at UFC 64. He put together a 16-8 run in the Octagon that includes victories over the likes of Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Ryan Bader, Dan Henderson, Gegard Mousasi and a host of other big names in the sport. Machida has such a strong following that his inclusion in Bellator can potentially open the door for Bellator to plan an event in Brazil.
“He just made it easier to actually go,” Coker said. “With Wanderlei Silva, Douglas Lima, with Lyoto now, with the Pitbull [Patricio and Patricky Freire] brothers, we’ve got some great Brazilian fighters and I think we could put together an amazing card. At some point, I think in 2019, you will see us in Brazil with all these stars.”
Bellator’s next event, Bellator 201, is scheduled for this Friday and features Alejandra Lara versus Ilima-Lei MacFarlane.