Alexis Vila on Bellator 65 Clash with Luis Alberto Nogueira: He’s Good, But I’m Better



At 41 years old, Alexis Vila is far past what most consider the prime years for a professional athlete, but he feels that his mixed martial arts journey is just beginning.

The American Top Team representative made a splash in his Bellator debut last year, defeating then-featherweight champion Joe Warren by knockout in the opening round of the promotion’s Season 5 135-pound tournament. The cocky Warren had earned most of the attention for his bid to become a two-division champion in the days leading up to the bout, but the brutal left hook that sent the former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion’s head bouncing off the canvas made Vila an immediate person of interest.

Vila followed his breakout performance with a split decision triumph against Marcos Galvao but fell to Eduardo Dantas in the tournament finals, leaving him one fight short of a title shot against bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky. Though the ending was disappointing, it still proved an impressive run for the 1996 Olympic freestyle wrestling bronze medalist.

“Last year was the first time I ever fought at 135 pounds, and now I feel a lot more comfortable at this weight,” Vila, a former world-ranked flyweight, recently told Sherdog.com. “I’m in great condition now, and I know what everyone brings to the table.”

Tonight, Vila will attempt to pick up where he left off in 2011 when he faces off with Luis Alberto Nogueira in a bantamweight tournament quarterfinal at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Also on the Bellator 65 card is the title bout between Dantas and Makovsky. Playing the role of spectator for the championship matchup only serves as motivation for Vila.

“This time, it’s personal for me. I don’t like to lose, so it’s very important for me to come back from my recent defeat to Eduardo Dantas and win this tournament,” Vila said. “I don’t like to be second to nobody. I came to Bellator to be the best, and I’m going to be the best.

“I hope to get a rematch with Eduardo Dantas one day, but in order to get my rematch, I’m going to have to win this tournament,” he continued. “That’s what I’m here to do.”

That starts with defeating Nogueira, who fell to Ed West in the Season 5 tournament quarterfinals. “Betao” rebounded to defeat Zak Laird at Bellator 53, however, giving the 26-year-old Brazilian eight victories in his last nine appearances.

“Luis Nogueira is a good fighter, but I’m better. He’s a wrestler, but he likes to stand up, so I think he’s going to be a really good matchup for me,” Vila said. “I have good hands, and he’s going to feel them when we fight.”

While “The Exorcist” won’t hesitate to put his numbing knockout power on display against Nogueira, he is also becoming more well-rounded in the cage.

“I’m always working to evolve and get better in the gym. In MMA, everyone is constantly improving,” he said. “I’m going to be keeping my strengths in this tournament but also showing how much I’ve improved since my last fight.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Undefeated Brazilian fighter Talita Nogueira is the latest addition to Bellator MMA’s new women’s featherweight division.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

At 13 years old, Gunnar Nelson started training in Goju-Ryu karate. Two years later, he won the Icelandic Juvenile Kumite Championship title. That explains his Lyoto Machida-like stance inside the Oc read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Just days after Bellator President Scott Coker reinstated the women’s division Bellator has a new addition to the roster as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Talita Nogueira has joined the promotion. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Scott Coker revealed last week that Bellator MMA was getting back into the business of women’s mixed martial arts. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Undefeated women's featherweight prospect Talita Nogueira has inked an exclusive deal to join the Bellator fold, promotion officials announced on Thursday. Nogueira (6-0), the 2013 Female Fighter of read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 1 views

A featherweight clash between Daniel Straus and Justin Wilcox will headline Bellator 127. read news >>

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

James Irvin is out of his middleweight clash against Brian Rogers at Bellator 125 after suffering a leg injury. read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 1 views

"Fighter screwed by or battling with Bellator" is an archetype of labor relations to which MMA fans are very accustomed. There's Eddie Alvarez's protracted court battle, Ben Askren's release while we read news >>

  • 11 days ago
  • 24 views

I've seen a lot of MMA over the years. A lot. Putting together The MMA Encyclopedia, I watched footage from all over the world, from the despondently bad to the resplendently life-changing. And I've read news >>