Bellator 256: Bader vs. Machida 2 Preview

The highly anticipated light heavyweight Grand Prix kick’s off at Bellator 256 on Friday night. Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader set to take centre stage. Bader, who is the current heavyweight champion, lost his 205 pound title against Vadim Nemkov in his last outing. He will have a chance to get back inside the win column when he take’s on Machida in a rematch of their 2012 encounter.

It was Machida won took home the victory that night, “The Dragon” knocked out Bader in the second round of their first fight. Machida, in recent times, has not had his hand raised since knocking out Chael Sonnen in 2019. The Brazilian has dropped two split decisions to Gegard Mousasi and Phil Davis in his last two fights, not the ideal lead up to this tournament.

Both men have had their fair share of success since that first battle but looking from the outside in, I’d would say father time has been kinder to Bader in comparison to Machida. They say revenge is a dish best served cold, whatever leftovers that remain on Ryan Bader’s plate from his KO loss to Lyoto back in 2012 are unknown. I’m sure the heavyweight champion will still be hungry to rectify that defeat and finally get his revenge over Machida in the main event of the evening.

Liz Carmouche will be eager to remain undefeated in her Bellator career in the co-main event. Standing in her way will be former Invicta FC flyweight Vanessa Porto who will make her debut under the Bellator banner. A win for either woman here will see them march into title contention.

Jeremy Kennedy and Ádám Borics will lock horns in the featherweight division. Borics bounced back well from the first loss of his career, he has picked up wins over Mike Hamel and Erick Sánchez in his last two bouts. Kennedy entered into the Bellator ranks with a win last November. The Canadian is vastly experienced having fought in the UFC, Brave CF and PFL in the past. Kennedy will be a great test for Borics, and this fight has potential to be fight of the night.

Cat Zingano won her Bellator debut when she overcame Gabrielle Holloway at Bellator 245 last September. The former UFC title contender will take on Bellator debutant Gabrielle Holloway in the women’s featherweight division. Dan Moret and Goiti Yamauchi will get the main card kicked off when they fight in the lightweight division.

On top on that main card there is also a prelims section of fights to wet our appetite before the main card. You can see those fights and how the main card and prelims line up. The card can be watched on Virgin Media Sports in Ireland, streamed on the BBC iPlayer in the UK. In North America the prelims and main card can be seen on YouTube in Canada, prelims will be streamed on the Bellator YouTube channel, and the main card will be broadcast on ShowTime.

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.