Rafael Carvalho and Lyoto Machida are in numerous phases of their careers, however the former Bellator champion wonders if the 2 countrymen share the identical aspirations within the sport.
Carvalho, who’s 15-2 in MMA, is seeking to rebound from a title loss to Gegard Mousasi that he suffered in Might. Machida, a former UFC champion with a document of 24-Eight, makes his Bellator debut after a competing for greater than a decade within the Octagon.
The Brazilian middleweights will collide on Saturday within the co-main occasion of Bellator 213 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Carvalho expects to face the perfect Machida has to supply — even when he questions what Machida’s plans for his Bellator future are at 40 years previous.
”I don’t know what his motivations are,” Carvalho advised MMA Combating. “He talks about preventing for the belt, however typically he doesn’t actually [seem like he wants] the belt. He had a superb profession, and I imagine that names like him, Wanderlei Silva, Quinton ‘Rampage’ (Jackson), Fedor (Emelianenko) are huge stars for the present.
”I don’t know if he actually needs to get to the belt or if he needs superfights, however I do. I’ve that ambition, however I don’t assume he does need to develop into champion anymore.”
Due to Machida’s huge identify, Carvalho sees his upcoming conflict with “The Dragon” as extra vital than if he was preventing for the Bellator championship.
”The identify he has, the sensible profession he’s had in MMA, profitable this combat would take me to a different stage,” stated Carvalho, who got here in chubby (186.5 kilos) on the official weigh-ins Friday. “Individuals would begin to see me with totally different eyes. That’s why this combat is so vital for me. This win would earn me one other shot on the title.”
A former UFC mild heavyweight champion, Machida has gained 5 of 9 bouts since reducing all the way down to middleweight 5 years in the past. Included over that span is a memorable resolution loss to then-champion Chris Weidman in 2014.
Each Carvalho and Machida are primarily strikers in MMA, however the Bellator veteran made certain he was “prepared for every part as a result of we by no means know what is going to occur.”
”I’ve by no means seen Lyoto go for takedowns,” he stated, “however he has submissions in his document. I imagine he’ll stand and commerce with me, however I’ve to be prepared.”
Carvalho actually took that severely forward of Bellator 213.
Rafael Carvalho gained many medals since shedding the Bellator title.
Picture courtesy of Rafael Carvalho
After a fast loss to Mousasi in Might, the Rio de Janeiro native entered many jiu-jitsu and grappling tournaments in Brazil to check his floor expertise and keep in rhythm. Requested how he did in these tournaments, Carvalho sat all the way down to depend the medals he collected over the previous few months.
5 gold medals.
Requested what number of matches he needed to win to seize all of them, he laughed. “I do not know,” he responded earlier than estimating round 25 wins over the previous a number of months.
”I used to be competing to check myself,” Carvalho stated. “They’re full-time jiu-jitsu fighters, I’m a MMA fighter. I don’t focus solely on jiu-jitsu, I prepare Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, every part, in order that they have the duty to win. Profitable a medal or not, that’s consequence of the competitors, however going there and submitting individuals, profitable medals, that reveals I’m on the fitting path.”
Carvalho nonetheless is a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, and jokes submission win over a black belt like Machida ought to be sufficient to obtain the brown belt by his grasp. “I’ll undoubtedly get the brown belt with two levels,” he stated, laughing.
A submission over “The Dragon,” one thing that solely Jon Jones and Luke Rockhold had been capable of obtain to this point in MMA, may very well be sufficient to not solely assure a jiu-jitsu brown belt, but in addition one other shot on the middleweight gold.
Carvalho thinks he must “win convincingly” and present Scott Coker and matchmaker Wealthy Chou “that I’m able to combat for the belt” so as to be subsequent in line for the title he as soon as held. That Bellator middleweight title shall be on the road on Jan. 26, when Mousasi places his belt on the road towards undefeated Rafael Lovato Jr. in California.
”I believe Lovato has an opportunity to go there and shock everybody,” Carvalho stated. “He has advanced loads on the toes, and we don’t want to speak about his floor recreation, it’s on the highest stage. If Mousasi underestimates him, Lovato can shock him.”
If each Carvalho and Lovato win their subsequent bouts, Evolucao Thai head coach Andre Dida can have an issue to determine. Carvalho has been coaching within the fitness center for years, and Lovato sometimes travels to Curitiba to arrange for his fights with Dida and the likes of Wanderlei Silva.
”I haven’t actually thought of it but, haven’t talked to Dida about it,” Carvalho stated. “Let’s wait and see what occurs after our fights. That’s not an issue for me to take care of, it’s for Dida. Lovato trains with Dida’s brother, so we now have to attend for the following chapters.”
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