August 16, 2022

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Linton Vassell indicators new Bellator deal to arrange heavyweight title struggle in opposition to Ryan Bader

Vassell has dedicated to a brand new take care of Bellator (Picture: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Linton Vassell has signed a brand new six-fight contract with Bellator and is now simply awaiting signing for his heavyweight title struggle in opposition to Ryan Bader.

Having racked up 4 straight wins since November 2019, Vassell is on the verge of a 3rd world title after failing at two earlier makes an attempt at gentle heavyweight.

In an exciting first-round comeback, he secured a TKO win over Tim Johnson in April and catapulted him again into the quilt image, assured he did no matter was requested of him to take his likelihood.

The Brit turns 39 this week however an enormous new take care of Bellator will give him an opportunity to change into the brand new heavyweight king and be topped solely the second Bellator champion from Britain.

“I really feel like this can be a very long time coming and I’m happy that we have been in a position to work out a brand new settlement that we’re each proud of,” Vassell mentioned

Bellator 214
Bader welcomed Vassell as his subsequent challenger final month (Picture: Getty)

“In my thoughts I used to be subsequent up for the title shot and with Bader successful after which calling me out, it simply made excellent sense. As a result of I did all the things I may to get first place, so I used to be just about subsequent in line.

It was Bader who spurned certainly one of Vassell’s earlier makes an attempt to change into champion in 2017 at 205 kilos. The American then known as out his outdated rival after his title protection in opposition to Cheick Kongo in Could, a victory achieved simply 4 months after he turned the division’s undisputed champion with a grueling victory over Valentin Moldavsky.

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Vassell is subsequent in line and hasn’t dominated out the opportunity of his World Cup problem going down in Britain.

“I used to be very excited after I heard Ryan name my identify, so I do know he’s prepared for that and I’m prepared for that,” he mentioned. “So now we’re simply ready for the contract and a date so we will make it occur.”

Vassell earned the TKO win over Tim Johnson in April (Picture: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Vassell continued: “It’s been too lengthy since I’ve fought at dwelling. I might love both a title struggle or a title protection right here. I’ve considered this second many instances, it might be a dream come true and undoubtedly one thing I’ve been speaking about for a very long time.

“Bellar must get the ball rolling and announce extra exhibits in London so I will be part of their spectacular abroad playing cards once more. My folks miss The Large Swarm.”

Vassell had two fights earlier than his resolution to maneuver as much as heavyweight in March 2019, struggling a loss in his first struggle at that weight to Valentin Moldavsky.

The 38-year-old is seeking to earn his shot at heavyweight gold (Picture: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Three cease wins and a cut up resolution win over Tyrell Fortune have since seen the Milton Keynes fighter carry appreciable momentum into this subsequent section of his profession. In addition to shaking up exercises, he owes his relentless type to working together with his thoughts coach, Mindset Mike.

And whereas he doesn’t see main adjustments within the model of Bader that stopped him within the second spherical of their first struggle 5 years in the past, he insists he’s a “new era” of fighters forward of the rematch.

“There are a selection of issues that received me again on the highway to success. I modified my coaching; I added extra cardio, had my relaxation days when wanted, labored on recreation plans and dangerous conditions.

“But the biggest thing is my mind coach, Mindset Mike. We’ve been working together for a few years now and I just feel my mind, body and soul coming together and coming into myself.

“I feel like Bader hasn’t changed personally since 2017, but his wrestling is on a different level and he’s been able to continue to dominate his fights. He’s doing well and people can’t stop him.

“I’ve changed small but big things, from the way I train and the way I think, Mike is a big part of that. The heavyweight crush is a new breed of fighter this time around.”

All European Bellator shows in 2022 will be available live on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer. US Bellator shows are streamed live on BBC iPlayer and fans can catch up on US action with the BBC Three Bellator Highlights show.

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General Sports Linton Vassell indicators new Bellator deal to arrange heavyweight title struggle in opposition to Ryan Bader