Lyoto Machida To Test Free Agency After Final Bellator Fight

The former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida isn’t done fighting yet and believes that he still has a lot to offer at the MMA’s bigger stage.

The 43-years-old karate specialist recently spoke with MMA Fighting and revealed his future ambitions. And as the things stand, we will be seeing “the Dragon” for the last time inside the Bellator cage.

Machida is left with only one bout in his contract with the promotion and is looking for a new challenge as he plans to test free agency later this year.

“[Bellator] came to us and said, ‘Let’s renew [the contract] one more time if Lyoto wants to,’ and whatever, and we said no, let’s fight this one first and then we’ll see,” Machida said.

“Every fight is a different fight for me. I saw it that way in the past, and even more now.”

Machida was a common household name among MMA fans during his time with the UFC as he toppled the likes of Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, Rashad Evans and Stephan Bonnar on his way to the summit of the light heavyweight division.

The Brazilian’s time with the UFC met its end in 2018 when he signed with the Bellator.

‘The Dragon’ has had enjoyed a fair bit of success in the Bellator as well but is currently riding a three-fight losing streak in the promotion. He will be looking to snap this losing skid and end his Bellator tenure on a high note.

The Brazilian legend acknowledges the idea of fighting former title contender John Salter in March.

But whatever the result of that rumored fight may be, one thing is sure that we will be seeing Machida competing again in the MMA as he still has the desire to fight the elite athletes in the sport.

“I want to continue fighting because that’s what motivates me. When I feel I can’t do it anymore, I’ll switch gears and go on another direction. I won’t insist on something if I see I can’t do it. But as long as I think I’m innovating and able to do something different that makes me feel well, money will always come second for me,” he said.

Unlike the other veterans who are being forced to make their way out of the sport, Machida wants to end his career on his own terms.

“I don’t want to end it like most people end their careers,” he added.

“I want to get to a point and say, ‘Well, I think I’m good.’ I don’t want other people telling me, ‘Lyoto, I you can’t do it anymore,’ or whatever. The way I feel and train, I’m the one that decides.”

As of now, it’s quite certain that his next fight in the Bellator cage may prove to be his last bout in the promotion.

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