Lyoto Machida will fight Chael Sonnen in Bellator’s return to Madison Square Garden

April 4, 2019

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida has booked his second trip to the Bellator cage. He’ll face Chael Sonnen when Bellator returns to Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 14. 

Bellator officials confirmed the news to following an initial report by ESPN.

Machida (25-8) made the move from the UFC to Bellator in 2018 despite winning his final two bouts in the Octagon opposite Eryk Anders and Vitor Belfort. He made his promotional debut at Bellator 213 in Hawaii in December, where he took a split-decision nod over former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho.

Machida will attempt to keep his streak alive when he faces Sonnen (31-16-1) in a light heavyweight bout.

Sonnen has been fighting his own personal version of Belfort’s proposed Legends League under the Bellator banner. Sonnen made his promotional debut by losing to Tito Ortiz before going on to win bouts against Wanderlei Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. 

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Sonnen’s last trip to the cage was a loss to Fedor Emelianenko in the semi-final round of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix in October of 2018. 

No other bouts have been announced for Bellator’s return to Madison Square Garden at the time of publication.