Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader wasn’t going to let Lyoto Machida outstrike him again at the Bellator 256 light heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals.

After letting Machida control the first round with kicks and strikes, Bader quickly dragged Machida to the ground and used his grappling to smother him for the better part of four rounds en route to a convincing unanimous decision win in the main event.

https://twitter.com/BellatorMMA/status/1380725923436236800?s=20

The Machida, 10 years older from his knockout win over Bader in 2012, quickly withered on the ground, unable to muster any offence and absorbing punishment to his face and Bader softened him up.

The judges scored it 49-46, 49-45, and 49-45.

With the win, Bader now advances to the semi-finals against the winner of the Bellator 257 Corey Anderson vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov matchup on April 16, while Machida is eliminated from the tournament.

In the co-main event, No. 2 Liz Carmouche controlled former Invicta FC champion Vanessa Porto in the clinch to take a comfortable 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 unanimous decision win and stay in the flyweight title conversation.

https://twitter.com/BellatorMMA/status/1380712958955823105?s=20

Porto was making her Bellator debut but could not penetrate the defence of Carmouche who kept her at distance while strategically clinching to prevent the takedown.

In other bouts:

RYAN BADER DEF. LYOTO MACHIDA VIA UD (49-46, 49-45, 49-45)

LIZ CARMOUCHE DEF. VANESSA PORTO (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

ADAM BORICS DEF. JEREMY KENNEDY VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

CAT ZINGANO DEF. OLIVIA PARKER VIA SUBMISSION (ARMBAR) R1 2:56

DAN MORET DEF. GOITI YAMAUCHI VIA SD (29-28 28-29, 29-28)

PRELIMS

DALTON ROSTA DEF. TONY JOHNSON VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

TALITA NOGUEIRA DEF. JESSIA BORGA VIA UD (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

JORNEL LUGO DEF. CASS BELL VIA UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

CODY LAW DEF. NATHAN GHAREEB VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

JAYLON BATES DEF. JEFFREY GLOSSNER VIA SUBMISSION (JAPANESE NECKTIE) R2 1:27

NALNOA DUNG DEF. IZZY WILLIAM VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

DIANA AVSARAGOVA DEF. TARA GRAFF VIA KO (PUNCHES) R1 0:29

JOHN DOUMA DEf. WILL SMITH VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)]

Bellator’s next event is Bellator 257, which is scheduled for April 16. In the main event, light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov takes on Phil Davis in the light heavyweight Grand Prix tourney, while light heavyweight Corey Anderson battles Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov in the co-main event.

@kenaiandrews