A rematch more than five years in the making has been announced for September 28’s Bellator 228 from the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
Bellator revealed in a press release today (Thurs., July 11, 2019) that former Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will take on former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at the event. The card will be headlined by the previously announced Patricio Freire vs. Juan Archuleta featherweight bout. “Pitbull” vs. Archuleta will serve as the opening round of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
Mousasi and Machida originally fought at a UFC Fight Night event from Brazil in February 2014. “The Dragon” emerged victorious via decision that evening. However, Mousasi has repeatedly claimed Machida was on some sort of performance-enhancing drugs for the fight. It’s a claim he also made about recent opponent Rafael Lovato Jr. Mousasi dropped his Bellator middleweight title to Lovato Jr. at June’s Bellator Europe 3. Prior to that, he had won eight bouts in a row.
As for Machida, he’s undergone a late-career resurgence in Bellator. “The Dragon” has won four straight fights overall. He was last seen finishing Chael Sonnen via flying knee and punches. The win sent ‘The American Gangster’ into retirement. While that fight was contested at 205 pounds, the press release confirmed his rematch with Mousasi will be at 185.
More bouts are expected to be announced for Bellator 228 in the coming weeks.
Who are you picking to win the Mousasi vs. Machida rematch?