Bellator 245 Full Fight Card & Predictions – A pair of top light heavyweight, Bout Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida 2, collide in Connecticut on Friday night
Despite UFC president Dana White’s recent sarcastic remarks against such a notion, it isn’t out of the question to form the case that Bellator MMA currently holds the deepest roster of 205-pound fighters within the world.
During a time during which the UFC’s light heavyweight division goes through a period of transition following the exits of Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson over the past two years, Bellator is flourishing . New champion Vadim Nemkov’s demolition of Ryan Bader last month, along side Bellator’s recent signing of Corey Anderson, was proof that a replacement light heavyweight era has arrived for the promotion.
Friday night’s main event of Bellator 245 is another example of the division’s depth as UFC veterans Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida enter a rematch seven years within the making (Paramount Network/DAZN, 10 p.m. ET) inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, with an attempt at Nemkov’s title firmly at stake.
“I do not know how I couldn’t believe that,” Davis said, during Wednesday’s virtual media day, when asked if Bellator’s light heavyweight division currently bests that of UFC. “We pile up well. i would not even say pile up — we simply have the simplest fighters within the world.”
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Davis (21-5, 1 NC), a former Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament champion who went on to capture the promotion’s 205-pound title in 2016, faced off against the present titleholder Nemkov in 2018 and dropped a competitive decision .
Nemkov’s victory over Bader, the person who took the title from Davis via decision three years ago, appeared to open up a path for Davis to hunt title redemption should he get past Machida. The 35-year-old rebounded from his loss to Nemkov with back-to-back TKO wins over Liam McGeary and Karl Albrektsson.
“I’m as motivated as ever. My ultimate goal is to urge back thereto belt and be the champion,” Davis said. “I want that belt and this fight is standing within the way of me stepping into a championship fight. That has been my thought process right along .”
Although it’s been a full decade since Machida (26-9) held the UFC’s light heavyweight title, he remains a legitimate title contender within Bellator despite being 42. A 2019 loss to Gegard Mousasi by decision ended a four-fight win streak, including victories over Vitor Belfort, Rafael Carvalho and Chael Sonnen.
“Since I’m feeling so good and ready to attend the academy with none injuries, that’s so important,” Machida said. “Most of my colleagues and friends that keep fighting have tons of injuries. I’m lucky. Injuries are a part of the training, but no serious injuries. i do not have a deadline . Of course, I’m not getting to fight too long but I still want to fight and challenge myself. I still have goals in my life i would like to realize and once I do this , I’m done.”
If there’s anything to be learned from re-watching Davis’ victory by unanimous decision over Machida from 2013 within the UFC, neither fighter believes it’ll help them within the rematch. Both Davis and Machida acknowledged what proportion they need evolved as martial artists during the seven-year gap and Machida specifically said he has never been motivated by revenge.
Still, beating Machida marked a big turning point for Davis from a confidence standpoint and remembers it as a special night, especially considering he went into Machida’s backyard of Brazil to secure the victory.
“More so than my confidence , it had been more of the, ‘I told you so,'” Davis said. “Machida may be a hard guy to land a glove on. That looked very different from any fight he had previously. He doesn’t get taken down tons and he’s excellent at getting up. My confidence did grow. you’ll do what you are doing to anyone within the world, but i feel the MMA fans grew some appreciation that there is something about Phil that’s very different. [Machida] features a different skill set that’s hard to match.”
In terms of what to expect within the rematch, the sole thing that hasn’t changed from Machida’s perspective is that he still believes Davis are going to be trying to find takedowns throughout.
“He likes to attain points and control the fight. That’s my job to not let him fight. That’s it,” Machida said. “I’ll be trying to find the fight from the start . i will be trying to find the knockout and submission. But a fight may be a fight. Phil Davis may be a great fighter and former champion in Bellator. I even have to be at my best and be ready for any situation.”
Bellator 245 Full Fight Card
Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida 2 Prediction Prediction
Davis has very quietly produced an exceptional run since leaving UFC for Bellator in 2015, having gone 8-2 with a pair of split-decision defeats against the division’s best. the matter for Davis when he steps up in school has never been his athleticism or ability to require the fight to the bottom when he pleases, it’s typically whether he throws enough strikes to sway the judges.
Whether or not Davis can consistently take Machida down will definitely go an extended way in helping him smother the karate-based style which makes the Brazilian legend so dangerous, even as he did in their first meeting. But he won’t be ready to get there without establishing himself first on the feet and committing with bad enough intention so as to diversify his attack.
This is still Davis’ fight to win, even with Machida having not yet begun to point out major signs of fading thanks to age. Davis can help him meet up with to getting there by looking to be as explosive and sudden as possible to constantly make Machida desire he’s a step behind.
As long as Davis commits, he can avoid the sort of match against a classic counter striker that tends to steer to boring fights and split-decision defeats.
Sources: CBS Sports
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