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.