Freelance: Elder Machida Wins in Bellator Debut

If you’re an older brother, it’s not often that in something like sports your younger counterpart casts a bigger shadow than you do. That’s the case with Chinzo Machida, who successfully debuted at Bellator 160 last night to transform from a team member of his former UFC champion younger brother Lyoto to a fighter in his own right.

39-year-old Chinzo signed to Bellator with just five fights to his credit in a nine-year period beginning in 2005. His record moved to a 4-2 with his TKO victory last night, his third KO/TKO overall. He originally signed to the promotion two years ago before a shoulder and tendon surgery and in addition to recovery time delayed his fist appearance for a major U.S. promotion.

Machida opens the bout in his family’s standard karate stance. He blasts Mario Navarro with a high thigh kick. He continues to counterstrike, forcing Navarro to miss wildly with a left hook as he steps aside. They circle around the cage and get the same result until Navarro leaves himself completely open while throwing a left leg kick.

Machida floors him with an overhand right and moves in. Navarro survives the initial flurry to move onto his back and try to pull Machida into a grappling match before he makes it back to his feet. A high kick is then blocked by the forearm of Machida. The commentators point out a pawing left hand from Navarro that appears to drop Machida for a fraction of a second, but it lands on his open palms and the drop seems to be more of a slip on Machida’s part.

Navarro lands another kick to the ribs and nearly with another left hand. Machida returns the favor once more with an overhand right along with a kick to the abdomen. Navarro’s back is once again against the wall both metaphorically and literally.

A right uppercut with ground and pound punches to follow puts him away as Machida shouts above him.

Chinzo Machida def. Mario Navarro via TKO at 2:57 of Round 1