Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida recently signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA, ending a long tenure with the UFC.
Bellator MMA Middleweight Champion Gegard Mousasi believes that Machida left the UFC due to their drug testing program with USADA.
“He’s older, and there was drug testing in the UFC,” Mousasi told MMA Fighting. “But if I fight him, he would need a lot of drug testing, too. Look at his physique, I think that says enough. He’s a skilled guy, no doubt about it, but when you get older, everything goes a little bit downward. Fighters, they cannot fight until 47 years old as they did before. If they’re clean, it’s difficult, especially against high-class fighters. They can beat a little bit lower guys, but against top competition, it’s difficult when you’re 41 or whatever and still be able to physically – skillwise, maybe, but on the highest level, small things make a big difference.”
Mousasi and Machida have fought once before, with Machida picking up a unanimous decision win in 2014, but Mousasi believes a few wins from Machida and they will clash again in Bellator MMA.
“I think he’s in a different stage now, and if he wins his (debut) fight, and he’s the contender, we’re 100% gonna (fight again)," says Mousasi.
Bellator 205 takes place on Saturday, September 29 from the SAP Center in San Jose, Claifornia with Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which is streaming live on DAZN.