Lyoto Machida shockingly leaves UFC as he signs with Bellator MMA

Lyoto Machida is getting out of the UFC and headed to another promotion.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has a certain goal in mind for 2018.

That goal is to fight quite often and ultimately get in a position where he can be challenging for a UFC title belt.

He competed inside the Octagon for the first time in over two years in October but lost to Derek Brunson by first-round TKO in Brazil.

If you recall, Machida was suspended for 18 months due to an anti-doping violation. Machida did declare his usage of a product containing the banned substance 7-keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is a steroid.

Machida also confirmed the use of the product and said he did not know it contained a prohibited drug.

Once his sample was tested, it came back with an elevated 7β-hydroxy-DHEA to DHEA ratio during a sample collection in April 2016.

He then picked up a victory over Eryk Anders in a middleweight bout in the main event of UFC Belem.

Machida may have saved his decorated career in a sense when he snapped a three-fight losing streak by outlasting touted rising prospect via split decision at the event.

The win was an absolutely pivotal one, as a knockout loss – a result many were picking to go down – may have spelled the end of the road for the nearly 40-year-old MMA great.

That talk is off the table at least for now, however, and the Brazilian fan favorite can stave off those calls in favor of a potentially high-profile bout instead.

Machida is coming off a knockout win over Vitor Belfort at the UFC 224 pay-per-view.

News broke on Friday afternoon (June 22, 2018) that Machida has signed with the UFC’s rival promotion. Bellator MMA. The Viacom owned promotion issued the following statement on the signing:

“Bellator is pleased to announce the signing of former world champion Lyoto Machida (24-8) to an exclusive, multi-fight agreement.

We look forward to seeing ‘The Dragon’ compete inside the Bellator cage in the near future.”

Bellator MMA and Scott Coker are slowly but surely putting together a roster that has a mixture of key fighters to their roster that features not only fighters who have risen through the ranks in Bellator but also fighters who have potential or has a name that was built in the UFC.

With that mix, Coker’s vision of what Bellator could be is being shown and the future no doubt looks bright.

News Now - Sport News