We have quite a few fight nights to look forward to this weekend, as BKFC 12 and Bellator 245 go down this Friday, and Bellator 246 and UFC Fight Night 177 go down this Saturday. Today we’ll be talking about Bellator 245’s main event, where top Bellator light-heavyweights Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida square off for the second time.
The first time these two met was in the co-main event of UFC 163, the night Jose Aldo defended his UFC Featherweight Championship against Chan Sung Jung. Davis won the fight via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), though it could have easily gone either way.
Round one showed a feeling out process until Machida landed a barrage of strikes with just over one minute to go in the round. Davis ended up securing a takedown with about 55 seconds left in the round and remained on top until the bell sounded.
Round two was more of the same, though Davis waited until just 20 seconds left in the round this time before taking Machida down.
Round three saw Machida out-striking Davis while stuffing all of his takedown attempts. Davis was appearing to get discouraged, but was able to fight until the final bell.
The only clear round of the fight was round three, the first two Machida landed the more significant strikes, but got taken down at the end of each of them. Machida came into this fight ranked at No. 1, while Davis came in ranked at No. 7.
Now they’re both at the top of the Bellator rankings, and they’re going at it again this Friday to see who really is better. A lot of people thought Machida won that fight, and it’s kind of surprising the decision didn’t go his way given the fact that it was in Brazil.
Davis only secured two of his ten takedown attempts, and the striking totals were very close, 29-27 in favor of Davis. Machida however out-struck him in significant strikes 27-21. Davis went into this fight with an 11-1 (1 NC) record, and Machida went in with a 19-3 record.
Now Davis is 21-5 (1 NC), going 8-2 in Bellator thus far, and Machida is 26-9, going 2-1 in Bellator thus far. Aside from their first encounter, we’ve got to look at how they’ve done since in order to predict the outcome this time around.
Davis went 1-2 in the UFC after this fight, where he lost to Anthony Johnson via unanimous decision, defeated Glover Teixeira via unanimous decision, and lost to Ryan Bader via split decision.
He quickly went 4-0 once coming to Bellator, winning the Bellator Light-Heavyweight Championship in his fourth fight with the promotion.
Davis lost the belt in his next fight in a rematch to Bader, also losing this fight via split decision. He’s gone 4-1 since with three finishes, only losing a split decision to now champion Vadim Nemkov.
Three of Davis’ five losses are via split decision, his record could easily be 24-2 (1 NC) or 23-3 (1 NC), and he’s never been finished.
Machida had since defeated Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi, before losing to Chris Weidman in a UFC middleweight title fight. He then defeated CB Dollaway, before being finished by Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, and Derek Brunson.
He left the UFC on a two-fight win streak, where he defeated Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort before joining the Bellator roster.
He defeated Rafael Carvalho and Chael Sonnen once coming to Bellator, but lost his rematch to Gegard Mousasi in his last fight.
His last fight was very close, Machida could easily be undefeated in Bellator. It’ll be interesting to see how the fight plays out this time. Machida had the highest takedown defense in UFC light-heavyweight history at the time they fought, and he was taken down twice.
Davis’ wrestling prowess is of course what aided him in that, as he was a four-time NCAA Division I All-American, as well as in order placing seventh, second, fifth, and first in the national championships. Machida got his start in Sumo wrestling, then Shotokan Karate, where he holds a 3rd-degree black belt, as well as a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Davis has surely worked on his striking since their first encounter, and Machida has been much more competitive in Bellator than the UFC in his later years. We have one of the best wrestlers in the entire sport against the premier karate fighter in the sport going at it once again.
Who do you see winning this epic main event rematch?