New York City hosted the Bellator 222 press conference for the Light Heavyweight showdown between Lyoto Machida (25-8) and Chael Sonnen (30-16). The contest is slated to take place on June 14th, at Madison Square Garden. Sonnen will be looking to bounce back from his devastating loss to Fedor Emelianenko. Machida on the other hand is riding a three fight win streak and looks to get another win under his belt, this time against a legend in Sonnen.
Bellator has been a viable place for MMA fighters to continue their careers. Machida and Sonnen are living proof that the talent pool that resides there is strong and deep.
For Machida, he will be coming into this contest as what appears to be a disadvantage as he will move up to 205 pounds to take this fight. Machida does have a bit of experience at the weight class as he has a number of victories campaigning there.
Both men are well into their 40s with Sonnen coming in at 42 years old and Machida on the other hand, checking in at 40. Fighting has always been a young mans sport but both feel as though they have plenty left in the tank.
“I feel good, I feel strong,” said Machida after the presser during media interviews. “I am still very motivated to continue to fight.”
Machida, has been a legend in the sport for a number of years. He has fought against stellar competition year after year. UFC has always been home, but a fresh start somewhere else feels like the right move.
“I feel like the move too Bellator is happening at the right time. I could have stayed at the UFC but I like the situation I am currently in over here. Bellator provides new challenges.”
Having accomplished so much, what more could there possibly be left for him at this stage?
“I want the belt,” Machida asserted. “I have already imagined myself wrapping that belt around my waist. That is what motivates.”
His 42 year old opponent, Sonnen, has never been shy around the cameras. The seriousness in which he is taking this bout was evident.
“Machida has a very difficult style to figure out,” Sonnen explained. “Nobody in my gym has his style so it is difficult to prepare for. I have to be on top of my A-game in order to get this win”
Sonnen and Machida have plenty in common. They are both future hall of famers with resumes that are stacked with big name opponents. They also still hunger to become a champion. Come June 14th, one of those men will move closer to that goal while the other falls by the waist side.