Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida to make Bellator debut in December


Lyoto Machida’s Bellator debut is set.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion will meet former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho on Dec. 15 on the promotion’s debut card in Honolulu. The event will be headlined by Hawaii’s Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Valerie Letourneau for the Bellator flyweight title, and it will take place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

Machida (24-8) signed with Bellator in June after leaving the UFC on a two-fight winning streak. He most recently defeated Vitor Belfort via knockout in May.

Machida made his UFC debut in February 2007. He won his first eight fights in a row en route to becoming the 205-pound champion. “The Dragon” picked up notable wins over the likes of Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Randy Couture, Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson, among many others. He is considered one of the greatest fighters in UFC history.

Carvalho (15-2) will look to rebound after he lost the middleweight belt to Gegard Mousasi in May. The loss snapped his 15-fight winning streak.

Also scheduled for the card is Ed Ruth vs. Neiman Gracie in the first round of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix.

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