Ex-UFC Star Lyoto Machida Reportedly Agrees to Contract with Bellator

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 22, 2018

FILE - In ths Feb. 23, 2013, file photo, Lyoto Machida gets set to fight during his UFC 157 light heavyweight mixed martial arts match against Dan Henderson in Anaheim, Calif. Machida fights Luke Rockhold in a pivotal matchup at 185 pounds on Saturday night in New Jersey in a fight that should determine the No. 1 contender for the middleweight title. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida is going to continue his mixed martial arts career with Bellator. 

Per ESPN.com's Ariel Helwani, Machida reached a verbal agreement with Bellator on an exclusive multi-fight contract that is expected to be signed in the near future. 

Machida has spent the past 11 years competing for UFC, posting a 16-8 record for the promotion and winning the light heavyweight title from Rashad Evans at UFC 98. 

After losing four of his five fights from 2014-17, Machida has won back-to-back fights this year. The Dragon will leave UFC after knocking out Vitor Belfort at UFC 224 in May. 

Chinzo Machida, Lyoto's brother, has been fighting for Bellator since 2016 and has amassed a 2-1 record in three fights. 

Helwani noted Machida is expected to make his Bellator debut at some point in 2018. He joins a long list of former UFC fighters to sign with the California-based promotion, including former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and lightweight champion Benson Henderson. 

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