BELLATOR 256 – Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida 2: Prediction and Analysis

Published 04/09/2021, 10:18 AM EDT


Bellator has an amazing event in store for MMA fans, as Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida fight each other for the second time in the main event of Bellator 256. Their first fight was in the UFC, where Machida got the win via a knockout in the second round.

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It was a dominant display from the start, and Machida was in the prime of his fighting career. However, the tables have turned now. Bader is the current heavyweight champion in Bellator and is coming off a loss that resulted in him losing his light heavyweight belt.

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On the other hand, Lyoto Machida is on a two-fight losing streak after impressive wins against Chael Sonnen and Rafael Carvalho in his first two fights in Bellator. Still, this fight is at light heavyweight, something which would suit Machida more than Bader.

Ryan Bader: Fighting style and career

Bader was one of the best fighters in the UFC in 2010. He sported an amazing record of 12-0 and had wins over some great fighters like Antônio Rogério Nogueira. Although, it all came crashing down when he lost his next fight to a relatively new up-and-coming prospect, Jon Jones.

Jones went on to capture the light heavyweight crown while Bader never got close to the UFC belt again. He fought 14 times in the UFC after that loss and had a great record of 10-4. Unfortunately, after beating Nogueira again, he left the UFC for Bellator to fight for the light heavyweight championship.

He won the fight and has dominated the Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions ever since. He is a fighter who utilizes his strong wrestling to dominate opponents. Nevertheless, he is no slouch on the feet either and has won 12 fights via knockout.

Lyoto Machida: Fighting style and career

Machida is one of the legends in UFC after he won the UFC light heavyweight belt by beating Rashad Evans. He went on a blistering 16 fight unbeaten run in his first 16 fights. However, after he beat Mauricio Rua in his 16th match, he got knocked out in the rematch in the first round.

He fought for the light heavyweight belt again when he faced Jon Jones, but he lost the fight via a standing guillotine choke. Machida didn’t fight for the light heavyweight title again, but he did have a middleweight title fight against Chris Weidman. He lost that fight via a unanimous decision and left the UFC for Bellator after six fights.

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‘The Dragon’ is a southpaw with some incredible Jiu-Jitsu skills and has 11 wins by knockout. He likes to use his counter-striking skills and amalgamates that with some sumo and wrestling.

This fight is a quarterfinal of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix. It will be an interesting fight between two fighters with very different fighting styles.

Prediction: Ryan Bader wins via a knockout in the second round.

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Aniket Awasthi

186 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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