(Original Image: Bader’s Instagram)
Bader, current Bellator Heavyweight Champion, entered the fight a heavy favorite despite being knocked out in his previous matchup with “The Dragon” back in 2012.
Early in the fight, Machida used his patented Karate style to disrupt the timing of Bader. He landed thudding leg kicks, jabs, and kicks to the body before effortlessly sliding out of the punching range of Bader.
Ryan Bader remained calm, however, and landed a takedown late in the second round. He didn’t look back from there, dominating nearly every second of the next three rounds. He took Machida down at will and landed heavy ground ‘n pound, battering and bruising the face of “The Dragon”.
After the final bell, Ryan Bader (28-6 12KO) was awarded the unanimous decision victory over Lyoto Machida (26-11 11KO). With this victory, Bader takes the first step towards recapturing the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship he lost to Vadim Nemkov in August of 2020.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida (42-years-old) has now suffered three-straight losses.
In the prelims, Bellator Flyweight Diana Avsaragova (3-0 1KO) made a giant splash earning a vicious first-round knockout over Tara Graff. Just 29 seconds into the first round Avsaragova landed a right-hook that sent Graff to the canvas. Graff popped up immediately but was met with another right-hand followed by a two-punch combination that left Graff unconscious.
Bellator 256 full card results:
Ryan Bader def. Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision
Liz Carmouche def. Vanessa Porto via unanimous decision
Ádám Borics def. Jeremy Kennedy via unanimous decision
Cat Zingano def. Olivia Parker via 1st round submission
Dan Moret def. Goiti Yamauchi via split decision
Dalton Rosta def. Tony Johnson via unanimous decision
Talita Nogueira def. Jessica Borga via unanimous decision
Jornel Lugo def. Cass Bell via unanimous decision
Cody Law def. Nathan Ghareeb via unanimous decision
Jaylon Bates def. Jeffrey Glossner def. 2nd round submission
Nainoa Dung def. Izzy William via unanimous decision
Diana Avsaragova def. Tara Graff via 1st round KO
John Douma def. Will Smith via split decision