Lyoto Machida eyes title tilt, but staying focused on Phil Davis rematch at Bellator 245

Lyoto Machida doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be competing, but he still has plans to capture championship gold once again.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Machida (26-9 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) rematches former Bellator 205-pound champion Phil Davis in the main event of Bellator 245, which takes place Sept. 11 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

The pair already fought once before under the UFC banner in 2013, where Davis picked up a close decision win at UFC 163. Now, seven years on, they will run things back in a matchup that could potentially determine the No. 1 contender to face newly crowned Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov.

While Machida is focused solely on Davis, he admitted that he’s well aware of the potential implications of this fight.

“Now that I’m more experienced, now that I’m 42 years old, I like to take things one step at a time,” Machida told MMA Junkie. “Each bout is a chance for me to show my work. And I fight every time as if it’s the last time. I give everything I have, and no one knows what tomorrow will bring. I’m very thankful for this opportunity to be fighting again and for my health.

“Of course, thoughts of facing Vadim Nemkov for the belt do cross my mind. But I try to only focus on Phil Davis. I’m only human. I think about the future and about the past, but I don’t want to be imprisoned by that. We don’t know what the future holds. I do remain fully motivated and committed to training every day of my life.”

Bellator 245 will be an opportunity for Machida to avenge his loss to Davis, which was scored in his favor by a host of media members. But Machida insists revenge isn’t on his mind ahead of the rematch and instead he’s simply looking at this fight as a new chapter in his career.

“We fought in 2013,” Machida said. “It was a close fight. Ultimately, what matters is that the judges awarded him the win. A lot of people expressed the opinion that I should have won instead, but I can’t get stuck on that. I never get obsessed with wanting payback. That fight is behind us. That was seven years ago. Now is a new moment. My normal walkaround weight is around 213 pounds. When I fought as a middleweight, I tried to stay at around 204 pounds before cutting down, which entailed a bit of suffering. Now, I’m back to light-heavyweight, so it will be an easier cut again.”

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