MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Lyoto Machida Signs With Bellator

Another big free-agent signing by Bellator as well as a new heavyweight fight in the UFC are the main topics in today’s MMA odds and ends.

Lyoto Machida Signs With Bellator

Bellator made another big free-agent signing over the weekend, officially inking former UFC light heavyweight champion and top-15 ranked middleweight Lyoto Machida to a free-agent contract. Machida himself confirmed the signing, posting a lengthy statement on his Instagram explaining the move. According to Machida, he was open to new opportunities outside of the UFC and is excited to compete for Bellator. And he should be, as it’s a match that makes a lot of sense. This is a great signing for Bellator as it gives them another brand-new title contender at either 205lbs or 185lbs. Machida (24-8) is one of the most legendary fighters in UFC history, having competed in the Octagon since 2007. Overall, Machida racked up and impressive record of 16-8 in the UFC, and he finished his career in the Octagon riding a two-fight win streak with a split decision nod over top prospect Eryk Anders and a vicious front kick KO over Vitor Belfort in what turned out to be the last fight of his UFC career. Though he is 40-years-old, the Brazilian keeps himself in amazing shape and should have at least a few years left of high-level fighting in his career. Considering the issue Machida had with USADA, this move to Bellator makes sense for him as he will no longer have to worry about USADA’s stringent testing. But most of all, Machida will be fighting for the more part lesser competition for presumably more money. Note he already holds a win over current Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader as well as a win over current Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi. He might not be the feared fighter he once was when he knocked out Rashad Evans to win the UFC light heavyweight title, but Machida is still a very solid, well-rounded fighter. I’m curious to see who Bellator matches him up with in his debut and what weight class he will fight in, but either way I feel like Machida is going to have a ton of success in Bellator and I really like this signing for them.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov, UFC Fight Night 136

A heavyweight matchup between Andrei Arlovski and Shamil Abdurakhimov will go down at UFC Fight Night 136, which takes place Saturday, September 15 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Arlovski himself confirmed the bout on his social media. Arlovski (27-16, 1 NC) had his two-fight win streak snapped recently with a decision loss to Tai Tuivasa at UFC 225. Clearly, though, Arlovski didn’t take much damage in that fight as he’ll be making a quick turnaround for this one, and it’s definitely a winnable fight for him at this point of his career even despite his notoriously questionable chin. Abdurakhimov (18-4) is coming off of a KO win over Chase Sherman and overall is 3-2 in the UFC. At times he has looked pretty bad in the UFC but the win over Sherman showed how dangerous he is when he’s on his game. I tend to auto-fade Arlovski against anyone with KO power but I feel like this could actually be a fight he wins as he is sligtly more well-rounded in my opinion, and I feel like Arlovski should be slightly favored in this one. 

Written by Adam Martin.

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