Former UFC stars Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida went at it for the second time tonight at Bellator 256.
Their first encounter took place nearly nine years ago in August of 2012, and showed the former UFC light-heavyweight champion as the victor via KO at 1:32 of round two. Bader ran straight into a counter cross of Machida’s, and that was all she wrote.
Bader has since gone onto become Bellator champion in the light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, while Machida is looking to replicate that same championship success in Bellator that he had at one point in the UFC.
Of course, Bader is no longer the Bellator 205 lb champion. He lost the title in his last fight to Vadim Nemkov, also via knockout in round two. Now Bader gets the chance to redeem himself, as does Machida, who’s coming off two split decision defeats himself.
Continue reading to see how this light-heavyweight rematch went down:
Official Result: Ryan Bader def. Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)
Machida is doing a great job right away with his footwork, making a hard target for Bader to get a hit on.
Machida lands several round kicks and front snap kicks to the body, which has been flustering Bader some.
Bader has tried blindly rushing in a number of times, which is exactly the reason he lost the first fight. It hasn’t effected him thus far in their rematch however.
Machida has continued with the body kicks throughout round two, and is winning the exchanges up until he gets taken down with about two minutes left.
Bader remains on top until the final horn going into round three.
Machida is noticeably tired going into round three, and Bader can tell, as he’s backing Machida toward the fence.
Bader secures another double leg against the fence, but this time he has three minutes left in the round.
Bader starts to land some vicious elbows to the face of Machida toward the end of the round, and the tide and certainly turned.
Bader handily drags Machida to the ground at the start of round four, and things aren’t looking so great for the former UFC champion. However, things are looking great for the Bellator heavyweight champion, who’s pounding away at Machida through the rest of the round.
3o seconds in and Bader has Machida’s back up against the fence, before dumping him on his back.
Bader has gotten a takedown in each round since the second, and he got each one quicker than he did in his rounds previous. Bader is doing a great job remaining heavy on top, seeming impossible for Machida to work his way up.
As it turns out, 13:10 of this 25-minute fight was spent with Bader on top of Machida. Quite a dominant showcase for Bader this was.