Bellator CEO Scott Coker has detailed his plans for former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida this year.
Lyoto Machida is in the twilight years of his MMA career. Since parting ways with the UFC, “The Dragon” joined Bellator and has become one of the biggest stars of the promotion.
At 43 years old, Machida is still competitive and has refused to call it a career. This has prompted Bellator boss Scott Coker to still include the Brazilian in his plans for 2022.
According to Coker, he wants Machida to stay active as possible this year, revealing that he intends to slate the UFC legend for a fight in “probably” either “March” or “April.”
More importantly, Coker has vowed to let Machida leave the sport “on his terms.”
“He wants to fight and we’re going to get him busy again,” Coker said of Machida via MMA Junkie. “He’s another fighter that will probably fight in March, April. We want to get all our big stars fighting between now and April. He’s had some losses, but he’s went though a gauntlet of just killers. It didn’t work out for him, but we feel he’s still got some gas left in the tank.”
“He’s done so much for the sport. To me, he’s a legend, and we’re going to let him finish it on his terms,” the Bellator chief added.
As it stands, Machida has gone 0-3 in his last three fights under the Bellator banner. It can be recalled that he consecutively lost to his fellow former UFC fighters Ryan Bader, Phil Davis and Gegard Mousasi via decision.