Lyoto Machida sees Bellator 245 opponent Phil Davis as a much different fighter than the man he first fought back in the UFC.
“Seven years already passed. We are more experienced, we are different fighters right now,” Machida (26-9) told media outlets including Cageside Pres during the Bellator 245/246 media day on Wednesday.
Despite losing to Davis in the pair’s first meeting in 2017, “I don’t have any sense of revenge, I just want to go in there and do my job,” the Brazilian said.
“The Dragon” knows just how tough an opponent Davis is, and not just because of that first meeting. “We all know Phil Davis is a tough opponent, he’s a former Bellator champion, he’s not a random fighter in front of me. He’s a champion, he has the mindset of a champion,” observed Machida.
While Machida’s last fight was a loss to Gegard Mousasi, the fight came down a weight class, at middleweight. Moving up and down has become the norm for Machida. He’s suggested it’s the reason he’s in Bellator. “In Bellator, they give the opportunity to fight in both classes,” he noted.
But a win Friday night could have him lined up for a shot at gold. Vadim Nemkov recently defeated Ryan Bader to win the 205lb title, blowing the division wide open. “Scott Coker is right, man. The 205lb class is very hot now,” opined Machida, reflecting on Jon Jones vacating his UFC title, and the argument that Bellator’s light heavyweight division is the better between the two promotions.
“I can see 205 has more opportunity, more challenges in my career. So I’m going to be here for a while,” he later added.
What “a while” works out to remains to be seen. At 42 years old, Machida is certainly in the twilight of his career. “I don’t have a set time limit in my mind, but of course there will be one day that I’m going to stop,’ Machida admitted. “A fight for the title would be great for me right now, because I consider I was born for being a champion. Not only being a champion in the cage, the octagon, the ring, but to be a champion as a person. To always overcome obstacles, overcome hard situations.”
“Maybe one, two more years, you never know,” he added. “I like to fight, I like to train. The motivation is still in me.”
Bellator 245 takes place this Friday, September 11 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The event airs live on Paramount Network.