Less than two weeks ago, Chael Sonnen brought his 22-year mixed martial arts to a close following a loss to Lyoto Machida at Bellator 222. Sonnen would go out relatively quietly, without any trash talk leading up to his fight against Machida and certainly no ill will after the fight. Because of the mutual respect demonstrated between the two legends of the sport, Machida was questioned by TMZ recently on whether or not he feels guilty for essentially retiring Sonnen:
“No, I just did my job. The retirement is up to him,” Machida said. “It was an honor to fight Chael. He’s one of the best. He’s a legend fighter. And he already fought a lot of (legendary) fighters.”
The same can be said for Lyoto Machida, who is currently in his 16th year in the sport. Machida has shared the cage with giants of the sport like Jon Jones, Quinton Jackson, Yoel Romero, and holds victories over legends like Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort, and Rashad Evans. So how much longer will all of Machida’s career be a product of the past tense and he joins his most recent opponent, Chael Sonnen, in retirement:
“Three, four more years,” Machida estimated. “Let’s see.”
Don’t look now but Machida is currently on a four-fight winning streak so there doesn’t seem to be a need for “The Dragon” to rush into the next chapter of his life. Instead, he is planning on taking on the top dog for his next fight, Bellator champion Ryan Bader, who also happens to be another notable name that Lyoto Machida holds a victory over:
“I feel so good and so athletic,” Machida said when asked if youth will play a factor in his projected next fight against Ryan Bader. “I’ll be ready for him,” Machida promised.
Do you think Lyoto Machida will retire on top as a champion?