Despite having previously fought just once under the Bellator MMA banner, one thing that Machida believes is a win at Bellator 222 should get him a title shot.
”I have a history with both Mousasi and Ryan Bader and we’ll see what’s best, not only for me, but for the promotion and fans, what they want the most,” Machida said to MMA Fighting. “I’m willing to fight in both weight classes. My goal is to fight big fights, fight for the belt. I want to give them both rematches, but everything is matter of timing. I want the belt. “I really believe I can put on great fights in both weight classes. I feel great in this division, but it’s about preparation. If I’m going to fight Mousasi, I have to cut weight, so it’s a different preparation to feel good on fight night, and to fight Ryan Bader at 205 it’s a different dynamic, like I’m doing now to fight Chael Sonnen. I want to fight both of them.”
The fight at Bellator 222 will also mark Machida’s Bellator light heavyweight division debut, as his previous bout in the promotion came at middleweight.
Machida believes that whoever can implement their game plan best will be the victor at Bellator 222.
”It’s a matchup that can favor either side, because Chael Sonnen is a great wrestler, has his history in wrestling and MMA, and there’s also my side,” Machida said. “We’ll see what happens, if we’ll stay on the feet or on the ground and who has the advantage. I’m getting ready for surprises and putting on a great fight. This fight should’ve happened in the past but never did, and now it’s happening in a big capital like New York. Chael Sonnen likes to hold you down and control the fight, like he did to a striker like Anderson (Silva). He likes to stay on top and score points, but he doesn’t go for the finish. I always try to avoid that game that Chael Sonnen does to try to finish the fight before the final bell.”
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.