See fighters share their thoughts during Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida 2
After dropping the Bellator light heavyweight championship to Vadim Nemkov, Ryan Bader has come into the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix a man on a mission. And it started with some revenge, as he defeated Lyoto Machida in a rematch to kick off the tournament in the Bellator 256 main event.
This was a rematch from a UFC event in 2012, in which Machida caught Bader coming in and scored a second-round knockout, the first time Bader had been KO’d in his career.
This marked Bader’s first fight since being dropping the Bellator light heavyweight title to Vadim Nemkov back in August. Bader had won the 205-pound championship from Phil Davis in his Bellator debut at Bellator 180. Bader retained the title against Linton Vassell that fall before competing in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix and becoming the promotion’s first-ever champ-champ.
Coming over to Bellator in free agency following his own stint in the UFC, Machida scored a unanimous decision win over Rafael Carvalho and a second-round TKO of Chael Sonnen. Since then, however, he’s dropped back-to-back split decisions against Gegard Mousasi and Davis.
Fighters chime in during the Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal
At the fight’s start, Bader looked to be falling into the same path that got him in trouble the first time around, battling Machida on the feet and coming out on the worse end of the striking. But Bader soon was able to get the fight to the ground, where he completely dominated and overwhelmed Machida with grappling and power en route to a one-sided unanimous decision.
See how fellow fighters reacted to Bader getting the win and moving on in the tournament
Bellator 256 takes place on Friday, April 9, 2021, live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.