Though the group has already stepped on the scale in anticipation of the event, the field of Bellator Season 4 welterweights recently weighed in an additional time for media in regards to their thoughts on Bellator 35 and the underlying factors of their individual pairings. And, while backgrounds and general attitudes may differ, all eight made one thing clear – fans should expect to be highly entertained when they tune in tonight.
“I’ve watched Jay fighting over the years so I know he’s extremely athletic and he’s a great competitor. I can tell from interviews I’ve seen him do that he’s a really respectful guy, so it’s an honor for me to get in the cage with him, touch gloves, and duke it out.,” began Anthony Lapsley on the subject of opponent Jay Hieron. “I’ve got much respect for him – as I’m sure he has for me – but this is a fight. This is what we do. This is our job. We’re going to put on a show. I think we’re going to end up being the fight of the night. It’s going to be a war. This tournament is the biggest opportunity of my career. It’s going to change my life, and the lives of my kids.”
“All of these guys are coming into this tournament to fight,” Hieron responded. “You have to be prepared or anything. I’ve prepared for Anthony like I would for anyone else The plan is for me to go out there and look impressive. I’m ready for anything but I’m definitely going to be looking to go out there and set the tempo.”
Both accomplished judokas, fellow tournament participants Rick Hawn and Jim Wallhead also spoke about the battle they expect later this evening.
“I definitely think there will be some Judo involved in this fight with Jim,” said Hawn. “I’m going to go wherever the fight takes me and if he gives me an opportunity, then I’m going to take advantage of it. I think that he’s going to want to avoid getting in the clinch with me, and I’m really interested to see how that would turn out if we got into that position.”
While Hawn remained confident about his clinch-work, Wallhead expressed his belief in a more-applicable advantage he’ll enter the ring with. “I’m hoping that my edge in MMA experience will be an important factor in this fight with Rick,” the Brit explained. “He’s a very dangerous opponent and I’m going to have use all the tricks I have picked up over the years competing to beat him. I’m definitely hoping to send (him)] home with his first defeat. I’m not coming to lose, and I know he isn’t either, so it’s set to be one exciting fight!”
While Hawn and Wallhead may share disciplines, Dan Hornbuckle and Brent Weedman share something more personal – a friendship. “I’ve become friends with Brent since our first fight, but that doesn’t affect me one way or the other once that cage door slams shut,” said Hornbuckle of the relationship they’ve established since originally facing off in 2006. “Fighting is just business for me, I enjoy my business, and business will be ‘handled’ on Saturday night.”
Weedman echoed Hornbuckle’s statements, saying, “I consider Dan to be a friend, but that’s not going to stop either one of from absolutely trying to destroy each other, because that’s our business and we’re both good at it. So I’m coming to take him out, he’s coming to take me out, and afterwards I’ll buy him a beer.”
I’m not going to revel in the underdog role, because I may be the underdog to everyone in the world, but I guarantee you (he) hasn’t been training like I’m the underdog,” Weedman continued. “I’m not saying that Dan doesn’t think he’s going to win, but he knows I’m no pushover. He has a lot of respect for me as a fighter, just like I have for him. Underdog status only counts when the other guy sleeps on you, but I know Dan’s not sleeping on me.”
Finally, card-capping competitors Chris Lozano and Lyman Good both backed the notion those in attendance and watching at home should be in for a treat as long as they enjoy a classic battle between strikers.
“I’m definitely hoping for a stand up war in this fight and I think he is too,” explained Lozano of his match-up with the former Bellator 170-pound champion. “I think he understands why he was chosen to be the last fight of the night, and I understand why I’m in there with him, and it’s because of our styles. I don’t see either of us changing anything. We’re going to get in that cage, and we’re going to bang.
“The odds of this fight between Lyman and I going the distance are slim, very slim,” he concluded on the topic. “I’m not going to go in there and change my style because I’m worried about getting cut or hurt. For me, a fight is a fight, and I’m definitely coming to fight.”
Lozano will not be the only one expecting a stand-up battle when the cage door closes. When asked about his approach, Good replied, “I’m not going to be hesitant to trade with Chris for one moment. It actually excites me even more that I have an opponent that’s willing to stand in front of my punches, and willing to give some right back. I’m definitely hoping to trade some serious leather with Lozano.”
“This is a really exciting fight between Chris and myself. It’s going to be electric,” he added. “I’m going to go out there with an open mind – trying not to focus on a single game plan – but preferably we stand and trade for a large part of the fight. Either way, I going to be ready for anything.”
Check out the first leg of their journey towards a $100,000 pay day and a date with welterweight title-holder Ben Askren starting tonight at 9:00 PM EST on MTV2 with live Bellator shows on weekly basis thereafter.