Combat Vision MMA spoke to Linton “The Swarm” Vassell after it was announced he will be fighting Ryan Bader for the Bellator world light heavyweight title at Bellator 186.
Thank you for speaking to Combat Vision MMA, Linton. Congratulations on getting your title shot. Could I ask for your thoughts on the announcement.
“Always my pleasure. One word for you BUZZING”
Since beating McGeary back in May there has been a lot of frustrations for you getting a title shot and also being omitted from the inaugural Bellator 180 event. Have you had any conversations with Scott Coker about these challenges and do you feel getting this shot now puts those feelings to rest.
“I don’t actually know what the confusion was. But, when I saw the Bader and Mo post and they were going to be fighting, that is when I got straight on the phone to my manager. To get this sorted once and for all. So, yes everything is put to rest now”
You have been with the Bellator promotion for four years now and your first title challenge came over three years ago. What self-improvements have you made during this time and do you feel both mentally and spiritually this is the perfect time to solidify yourself as the best in the 205 division.
“Time sure does fly by quickly. When I had my first title fight, I was not the same fighter I was then to now. Firstly, I was still training at a small gym in the U.K and I didn’t have any sparring partners leading up to that fight. I just got on with it and didn’t what I could with what I had. Now I train with the best in the world full time. I am a whole new different type of fighter and now I get to show the world that I am the best light heavyweight in the division”
You have beaten previous 205 pound Bellator champions in Newton and McGeary. Do you think the fight with McGeary was the benchmark test in terms of performance and application that would tell you if you were ready to fight for the belt.
“For sure. The McGeary fight was a must win. But, not just winning on points, I knew I had to finish him, to make a statement and show the division that I am the guy to beat”
Ryan Bader is a well-respected fighter with a good pedigree of skills. What kind of tape study have your coaches done on him.
“He likes to wrestle and win on points. The thing is, it’s not a wrestling match it’s a fight and I always come to finish all my opponents. So, he better be ready to fight and leave it all in the cage November 3rd”
Ryan Bader is capable of grinding out unanimous decision wins. Do you feel you will try and get this fight finished within the first two rounds rather than taking the fight into the later rounds or do you feel it won’t matter.
“It won’t matter. I will be focused on me and putting him in positions where he does not want to be and he will end up quitting”