Lyoto Machida will become an MMA free agent after his next Bellator fight with Fabian Edwards in London on May 13, and may switch sports in the future.
The man who changed MMA concepts by bringing his style of karate and became UFC light heavyweight champion with an unblemished record, said in a recent episode of MMA Fighting‘s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca he plans to return to karate if a good offer is presented to him.
“The Dragon” said he had been approached to participate in submission events in the past, but declined because he had not been upgraded. He would be ready to face another MMA star, but didn’t like the idea of being thrown on the wolves to fight top black belts like Gordon Ryan and Craig Jones.
However, when it comes to karate matches, it’s a whole different game.
“The action doesn’t stop at the karate fight, so that favors me,” Machida said. “With that in mind, I don’t care who’s on the other side because it’s an art that I dominate, an art where the action doesn’t stop and there’s more contact. It doesn’t matter if the guy will touch my face because I will fight back too. It’s like MMA, just a little more restricted in terms of the rules.
Karate Combat president Adam Kovacs told The MMA Hour on Monday that they would meet with Machida on Thursday to discuss his possibility of signing him for matches after his Bellator contract is complete. Machida said on Trocação Franca he was offered a new contract with Bellator but opted to test free agency instead.
“Stephen Thompson is an MMA guy. [that I could face]. [Or] Georges St-Pierre,” Machida said. “But Georges St-Pierre was offered the last time and didn’t want to do it. [Karate Combat] wanted to book it in the future, after my [Bellator] contract is over, but he has other plans. I think he really finished his career as an athlete. [Karate Combat] called me and asked if I would fight Georges St-Pierre and I said sure, and St-Pierre said, ‘No, I have other plans.’
Machida doesn’t think for a second that rejecting such an idea means GSP is ‘afraid’ of him, but it might not make business sense for the Canadian star to enter the world of karate. now to compete.
How about UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson, then?
“So it’s different,” Machida said. “Stephen Thompson is active, he’s younger and he wants it. Let’s see what Karate Combat will do in the future, but first I have to fight my fight in Bellator.