Is Sonnen vs. Machida a Worthy Headliner for Bellator’s Return to MSG?

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Chael Sonnen defeated Wanderlei Silva at Bellator NYC
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Bellator’s pitting the best talker in the promotion against one of its most elusive stars as Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida face off in NYC.

Bellator is returning to Madison Square Garden in June, and when they do, they’re bringing a light heavyweight clash between aging veterans with them. Chael Sonnen vs. Lyoto Machida is classic Bellator match-making. Two years ago, it was Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva. Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida no doubt has a lot more left in the tank than ‘The Axe-Murdeder’ — and that might be this pairing’s saving grace.

While nothing has been made official, it’s likely this will be the main event, or at the very least the co-main event. But should it be? Does Chael Sonnen have any business topping a card at this point in his career?

On the positive side Sonnen will promote. There’s no question that he’s one of the best talkers in the game. And to be fair to the ‘American Gangster,’ he’s 2-2 in Bellator and willing to fight anyone. With Chael, you very much know what you are getting, and he will show up, win or lose.

Machida is a bit more interesting. You can question Sonnen at 41, with one foot out the door into a broadcasting and podcasting career that is unquestionably entertaining. Machida, however, is in striking distance of a title shot at either middleweight or light heavyweight. Especially the latter, with a lack of contenders. Linton Vassell has moved up, and there’s little interest in a third fight between 205lb champ Ryan Bader and Phil Davis.

On the latest episode of The Drive In podcast, we cover Machida vs. Sonnen, plus the twitter feud between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov that forced UFC President Dana White to step in.

Listen to the full episode below via Soundcloud!

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