Gegard Mousasi lost his Bellator title but is still getting the rematch he wanted.
Mousasi will take on former UFC champion Lyoto Machida in the co-main event of Bellator’s event Sept. 28 in Inglewood, California, the promotion announced Thursday.
Mousasi lost to Machida in 2014 on a UFC card in Brazil and has wanted a second chance ever since, accusing Machida several times of performance-enhancing drug use. The bout will be contested at middleweight.
Machida (26-8) has won four in a row, including his first two in Bellator after leaving the UFC as a free agent in 2018. “The Dragon,” a former UFC middleweight champion, is coming off a second-round TKO over Chael Sonnen at Bellator 222 last month in a light heavyweight fight. Machida, 41, owns career wins over Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans, Randy Couture and current Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader. The Brazilian is likely a future UFC Hall of Famer.
Mousasi (45-7-2) dropped the Bellator middleweight title to Rafael Lovato Jr. last month at Bellator 223 via majority decision. The Iran-born Netherlands resident was on an eight-fight winning streak before that defeat. Mousasi, 33, owns victories over the likes of Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson and Rory MacDonald.
Bellator’s card at The Forum on Sept. 28 will be headlined by a featherweight title bout between champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and challenger Juan Archuleta. That will also act as a first-round matchup in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.