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When they sit down to write the history of mixed martial arts someday, Lyoto Machida figures to hold down a prominent place. “The Dragon” will lock horns with Chael Sonnen in the Bellator 222 co-headliner on Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York. There, he can move one step closer to challenging for a Bellator MMA championship. Machida, 41, made his organizational debut at Bellator 213 on Dec. 15, 2018, as he eked out a split decision over former middleweight titleholder Rafael Carvalho and extended his winning streak to three fights. He has not posted four straight victories since he started his professional MMA career 16-0.
As Machida makes final preparations for his battle with Sonnen, here are five things you should know about him:
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1. His strength of schedule cannot be questioned.
2. His home life supplies motivation.
3. He brings a variety of skills to the table.
4. Only quality fighters have defeated him.
5. He planted his flag in exclusive territory.