Chinzo Machida, the older brother of former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder Lyoto Machida, will make his Bellator MMA debut opposite Mario Navarro in a Bellator 160 prelim on Aug. 26 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Bellator officials on Monday announced the featherweight booking.
Machida, 39, will enter the cage on a modest two-fight winning streak. He has not fought since he was awarded a unanimous decision over Dmitry Gerasimov under the Resurrection Fighting Alliance banner in June 2014. He agreed to terms with Bellator six months later. Though Machida’s involvement in MMA has been sporadic, the Shotokan karate black belt made himself a fixture on highlight reels with his flying knee knockout on Brian Wood at RFA 11 in 2013.
Navarro has lost four of his past five bouts, including two straight. Like Machida, he faces the hurdle of a lengthy layoff, as the Californian last competed at Bellator 116 in April 2014, when he submitted to a rear-naked choke from Brandon Bender. Navarro has not tasted victory in nearly four years.
Bellator 160 will be headlined by a lightweight clash pairing former UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting champion Benson Henderson with Patricio Freire.