While Sonnen is happy to be fighting Machida, one foe the fighter originally thought was going to be his opponent was former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort.
“I hadn’t heard anything, but I thought the winds were blowing toward Vitor,” Machida told MMA Junkie. “I just read about that in the media, and there was some chatter, and he had said something that he was coming back, and I just assumed he land was over here and we were finally going to have that match, I just assumed that. So when I hear it was Machida, I was a little surprised.”
Belfort wound up signing with One Championship, but did negotiate with Bellator MMA while being a free agent.
Sonnen also says the bout between the two is going to be between the top contenders in two different weight classes.
“As far as going out and competing and winning a big fight, look, he’s the number one contender at 185 pounds right now, but I’m the number-one contender at 205 pounds right now,” Sonnen said. “I think he forgets that I was just called out by Ryan Bader, of which I accepted. But their going to put me with Machida instead. When I get done with Machida I’ll be coming at Bader full speed.”
Bellator 222 takes place on Friday, June 14 from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on DAZN.