Bellator 245: Davis vs Machida 2 Preview

Giancarlo Aulino
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@Gian_411

Friday, September 11, 2020


Bellator MMA return to the “FightSphere” at the Mohegan Sun Casino tonight with Bellator 245, which is their first of back-to-back nights of events in Uncastville, Connecticut.  

The main event could have title implications as former Bellator Light-Heavyweight Champion Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis takes on former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in a rematch of their bout 6-years ago at UFC 163.

The last time Davis and Machida fought; it was Davis who got his hand raised in what many felt was a controversial decision at the time. It is surprising that this rematch never happened sooner, but now is the perfect time especially with the landscape of the promotion’s light-heavyweight division being different since Vadim Nemkov defeated Ryan Bader to become the new champion.

The Bellator Light-Heavyweight Champion will definitely keep an eye on this bout as the winner could make a strong case for a title shot. As it pertains to Davis, he and Nemkov fought to a split-decision that Nemkov won, so there could be extra motivation for him to put on a dominant performance to make a statement for a rematch with the new champion. “I’m as motivated for this fight as I am for the next fight because it’s all connected to where I want to be” said Davis, who would be a strong case for a title shot with the victory.

During the Bellator 245 virtual media day, Davis and Machida both gave their thoughts on rematches and that they expect to see something different from their opponent the second time around.

Davis mentioned that he is a much more complete fighter than he has improved in different areas and will not be looking for mistakes Machida may have made in their first bout:  

“I’m not exactly sure how much of the same I’m going to get. He’s (Machida) probably going to get an entirely different look…not by my choosing, but because that’s just who I am now. I’ve gotten my game to a point where I’m completely confident in everything I’m doing when I step in there, and I’ve improved so much from 2013 to now. I don’t want to overthink it by going in there and looking at old mistakes.”

Much like Davis, it is possible for Machida to earn a title shot with a decisive win. Machida last fought at Bellator 228, where he was defeated by Gegard Mousasi by split decision in a middleweight bout. Prior to the bout with Mousasi, Machida defeated Chael Sonnen by TKO in a light-heavyweight bout, so the promotion could use both his name and performances at 205lbs when determining who challenges Nemkov for the title.

Machida noted that one of the main reasons why he signed with Bellator was that he could compete at both light-heavyweight and middleweight and is excited about future matchups:

“Since I signed with Bellator, I put that in my mind (fighting at 185lbs and 205lbs) and now I can see that 205 has more challenges…more opportunities in my career. Let’s see what’s going to happen in the future.”

 

 

Other bouts on the card include:

Cat Zingano (Bellator debut) vs Gabby Holloway

Ed Ruth vs Taylor Johnson

Raymond Daniels vs Peter Stanonik

 

 

Photo Credit: Bellator MMA