11 Jun - 
Fighters Pick Fights - Bellator 222 Co-Main ‘Machida vs Sonnen’

In this exclusive SBN MMA Feature, Bloody Elbow Interviewer, Shakiel ‘Shak’ Mahjouri speaks to ranked MMA fighters like Josh Emmett, Ricardo Lamas and Jimmie Rivera — who give their takes on Bellator 222’s co-main event bout between legendary fighters Lyoto Machida & Chael Sonnen.

In this exclusive SBN MMA Feature, Bloody Elbow Interviewer, Shakiel ‘Shak’ Mahjouri speaks to ranked MMA fighters like Josh Emmett, Ricardo Lamas and Jimmie Rivera who give their takes on Bellator 222’s co-main event bout between legendary fighters Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen, happening at Madison Square Garden in NYC, NY...

Lyoto Machida vs Chael Sonnen:

  • 0:20 - Jimmie Rivera
  • 0:41 - Ricardo Lamas
  • 0:58 - Max Griffin
  • 1:45 - Josh Emmett
  • 2:25 - John Makdessi
  • 2:36 - Eryk Anders
  • 2:58 - Damir Hadzovic
  • 3:15 - Cody Stamann
  • 4:11 - Curtis Millender
  • 4:37 - Boston Salmon

Signing with Bellator back in June, 2018, we have the reinvigorated Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida - the Brazilian former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC Middleweight Championship title challenger - who is fighting out of Black House MMA, and battles in this co-main event with a storied 25-8-0 record, on a three-fight winning streak. His last victories were a Split Decision win against Rafeal Carvalho at Bellator 213, a win via ‘front kick to chin’ only 1 min into Round 2 against none other than Vitor Belfort at UFC 224, and a Decision win against Eryk Anders at UFC FN 125. Tapology.com has him ranked as the #7 Greatest MMA Fighter of All Time. The Dragon has fought in Brazilian Sumo Championships, been the Brazilian Champ twice and placed second in the South American Championship. According to Wiki, in addition to his Sumo, Karate and MMA achievements he also holds a college degree in Physical Education. He is a 75% favorite against Sonnen, with opening odds of (-135) vs Sonnen at (+115).

Meanwhile, contender Chael Sonnen, comes into this war with a longer 30-16-1 professional record, having lost his last bout against the infamous Fedor Emelianenko via Ground & Pound at 4:46 in Round 1 in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to that, he had defeated both Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva in Bellator events in 2018 & 2017, both via Unanimous Decision. Sonnen is fighting out of Team Quest Portland back at Light Heavyweight and is listed via Tapology.com as the #26 Greatest MMA Grappler of All Time. Chael has shown his work in the WEC and Pancrase, and challenged for both the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship and the UFC Middleweight Championship; back in 2010, although he tapped to a choke and armbar, he was awarded ‘Fight of the Year’ by World MMA Awards and Fight of the Night honors for his much-hyped brawl with Anderson Silva for that UFC Middleweight Championship.

Like BIJ.com pointed out, this is a match-up that we surprisingly haven’t seen yet, both fighters have contrasting fight styles – Machida’s karate style going against Sonnen’s wrestling and dirty boxing. Machida opens as the betting favorite, his advantage will be on the feet, however we have seen Machida struggle in the past once taken to the ground. Sonnen could easily grind his way to a decision here, or get starched by Machida’s unique style while attempting a takedown.

Not to be forgotten, the new main event of the night will feature Rory MacDonald against Neiman Gracie.

Here’s a look at the fight card as it stands today, via Tapology.com:

BELLATOR 222 NYC DAZN | Friday 06.14.2019 at 10:00 PM ET
170 - Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie
205 - Chael Sonnen vs. Lyoto Machida
175 - Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey
135 - Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
145 - Eduardo Dantas vs. Juan Archuleta

BELLATOR 222 PRELIMS | 6:30PM ET
135 - Ricky Bandejas vs. Patrick Mix
135 - Mike Kimbel vs. Sebastian Ruiz
170 - Haim Gozali vs. Gustavo Wurlitzer
125 - Heather Hardy vs. Taylor Turner
145 - Aaron Pico vs. Ádám Borics
185 - Phil Hawes vs. Michael Wilcox
170 - Robson Gracie Jr. vs. Oscar Vera
170 - Kastriot Xhema vs. W. Francois
125 - Brandon Polcare vs. Brandon Medina
145 - John Beneduce vs. Kenny Rivera
115 - Rena Kubota vs. Lindsey VanZandt
125 - Valerie Loureda vs. Larkyn Dasch

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