EXCLUSIVE: Lyoto Machida Discusses His Light Heavyweight Return


At Bellator 222, Lyoto Machida returns to 205 lbs, taking on Chael Sonnen in the event’s co-headline bout.

Fighting at Middleweight since 2013, Machida’s prior Light Heavyweight heights almost feel like a distant memory. However, Machida famously succeeded at that weight, becoming UFC Champion and winning his first eight bouts inside the octagon. Six years removed from that division, Machida now moves back up but in an interview with Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, ‘The Dragon’ made it clear that the required adjustment is minimal.

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“Even going to Middleweight or 205, I always weighed the same,” he explained. “So when I used to fight at 205, I weighed like 218, sometimes 220. Very rare to be 220 but sometimes it depends on the period of time. Depends on the time of my training. Sometimes I’m 220, it’s not very common but when I used to fight at 185, I used to weigh almost the same . . . like 215 so it’s not a big difference.

“The only difference is when you have to cut weight so when you have to cut weight, I’m very worried to make the weight. That’s why I try to decrease my weight little by little so when I get to the week of the fight, I don’t have to cut a lot of weight. But it’s hard because sometimes when you wanna put some weight on after the weigh in, you’re not able to do that.”

Considering Machida’s comfort at both weights, his goal within Bellator is clear. When asked about which title belt he’d prefer, Machida opted the 3rd option: winning both. “I’m very ambitious . . . I would like to fight both,” he said. “I like to train every day, I like to challenge myself . . . I wanna be champion. I wanna be a champion again. If I can have two belts, then I’d be great.”

First though, Machida must defeat Sonnen at Bellator 222. That event takes place on June 14th at Madison Square Garden and will air on DAZN. The card is headlined by Rory MacDonald’s title fight against Neiman Gracie.

For Fightful's full interview with Machida, check out the video above.

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