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Lyoto Machida ditches UFC, agrees to multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA

MMA: UFC 224- Belfort vs Machida Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, will start a new era under the Bellator MMA banner, after finishing up his existing contract and setting sail for greener pastures.

That’s according to a report from ESPN, which indicates the 40 year-old Brazilian has reached a verbal agreement with Scott Coker and Co. and is expected to put pen to paper in the coming weeks, if not days.

An opponent and debut date have yet to be established.

It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Machida in the second half of his UFC career. After dropping to middleweight, he came up short in his 185-pound title fight to then-champion Chris Weidman, before running into trouble with United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Following a lengthy suspension, “The Dragon” (24-8) returned to the Octagon with a knockout loss to Derek Brunson at UFC Sao Paulo, but quickly rebounded with consecutive victories over Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort.

Maybe he can set his sights on the winner of this bout?

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