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Lyoto Machida issues statement on Bellator MMA signing: ‘We have to be open to new changes, new challenges’

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

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida made a big career jump earlier this week when he signed an exclusive multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA, ending his 11-year UFC career in the process.

Machida, 40, isn’t quite what he used to be but is coming off a glorious front kick knockout over former UFC champion Vitor Belfort at UFC 224 this past May. The Brazilian veteran is expected to make his Bellator debut this fall and could potentially take on the winner of Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald, which is set to go down this September.

Here is what Machida had to say about his Bellator signing in a recent Instagram video submission (shown below):

“Hello everyone, I’m here to announce a great change in my career. My contract with UFC has finished, and I’m going to a new house: Bellator, which is a great MMA event that has been growing a lot here in the United States. I’m very grateful for everything that happened with me in the UFC.

“I’m very happy with everything I lived. I believe that everything in our lives is made of periods. All that comes is great and all that goes is also great. We have to be open to new changes, new challenges. This is how I think. My best regards to all of you, and I wish you keep on supporting me, because everytime I fight and everytime I practice, I do my best for all of you.”

Olá pessoal, estou aqui para anunciar uma grande mudança na minha carreira profissional. Meu contrato com UFC encerrou e eu estou indo para uma nova casa: para o Bellator, que é um grande evento do MMA e que tem crescido muito aqui nos Estados Unidos. Sou muito grato por tudo o que aconteceu comigo no UFC, sou muito feliz por tudo que eu vivi ali. Eu acredito que tudo na nossa vida são ciclos. Tudo que vem é muito legal e tudo o que vai também é legal. Temos que estar abertos a novas mudanças, novos desafios. E essa é minha mentalidade! Um grande abraço a todos vocês, quero que vocês continuem me acompanhando, porque sempre que eu participo das lutas, sempre que eu estou em treinamento eu estou dando sempre o meu melhor e é para vocês Hello everyone, I'm here to announce a great change in my career. My contract with UFC has finished, and I'm going to a new house: Bellator, which is a great MMA event that has been growing a lot here in the United States. I'm very grateful for everything that happened with me in the UFC. I'm very happy with everything I lived. I believe that everything in our lives is made of periods. All that comes is great and all that goes is also great. We have to be open to new changes, new challenges. This is how I think. My best regards to all of you, and I wish you keep on supporting me, because everytime I fight and everytime I practice, I do my best for all of you. @bellatormma #bellatormma

A post shared by Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) on

Even though Machida is on the last years of his storied career, this is a huge signing for Bellator. The Viacom-led promotion has done very well in free agency over the past couple of years, having signed notable draws like Chael Sonnen, Fedor Emelianenko, and Frank Mir, and is adding yet another high-profile ticket with “The Dragon.”

Machida will join his older brother, Chinzo, on the Bellator roster and should immediately contribute to the promotion’s growing notoriety.