David Rickels knows where the rubber meets the road.

While some fighters psyche themselves up before fights by talking trash, Rickels is concerned only with what takes place inside the chain-link fence after the referee says, “Go.”

“The Caveman” will put his skills to the test in the Bellator 69 welterweight tournament semifinals in a matter of hours. With just one victory separating Rickels from a finals berth, he must now contend with Karl Amoussou, a man who spouted some choice words at Thursday’s weigh-ins.

“[Rickels] is ugly as hell, and I’m going to destroy him,” said Amoussou.

Despite his opponent’s candid prediction, Rickels is staying grounded ahead of his pivotal bout at L’Auberge du Lac Casino in Lake Charles, La. Rickels believes that when the cage door is locked tonight, Amoussou will be singing a different tune.

“Amoussou’s mind games aren’t going to affect me one bit,” Rickels recently told Sherdog.com. “Hell no. I don’t play into those games. If anything, I think it’s funny. If I see people act that way, I think they are f---ing scared. There is a reason why they act that way. I don't play into that s---. He can stare at me and mug me all he wants, and he can talk s--- on Twitter all he wants, but the bottom line is I am going in there to kick his ass.”

According to Rickels, all the pre-fight banter will soon become obsolete, as the unbeaten 23-year-old plans to let his fists do his talking when he faces the Frenchman tonight.

“Whether I like him or not, me and Amoussou are going to fight. That’s inevitable. I’ve got to fight him to get paid, and that is what I am going to do,” said Rickels. “If he thinks I am a stepping stone, then I think he is in for a rude awakening. I am going to lay him out. We’ll see what he has to say then.”

Rickels enters the cage on the heels of a dominant performance in the tournament quarterfinals, having dispatched former “Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 contestant Jordan Smith in just 22 seconds at Bellator 63.

“The win over Smith was definitely a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders,” Rickels admitted. “That was a career defining moment for me. In my own head, it set me on a path where I know I can compete with these guys. I know I can fight the top-level guys and beat them. I’ve always known I would be here eventually, but I feel like I am here now. I feel like I can go with anybody.”

The Kansas native will take that confidence with him when he clashes with Amoussou, who battered Chris Lozano before choking him out just over two minutes into their quarterfinal bout. In spite of that destructive finish, Rickels says he will expose the weaknesses in Amoussou’s approach when the bell rings.

“I see some holes in Amoussou’s game. I feel like he is a little predictable. He floats his chin around a lot, and I feel like I can find a good spot for my right hand on his chin,” said Rickels. “I feel like this is a great fight for me. He likes to throw down, and I like to throw down. I think the fans are going to see a war. I think there is a really good chance that someone is going to get knocked out.”

Though Amoussou possesses twice the professional experience of Rickels, the American believes that the “Psycho” may be underestimating him -- an attitude that could produce unpleasant consequences for the 6-year pro.

“If Amoussou is looking past me, he is [making a] grave mistake,” said Rickels. “I am definitely a threat, and he has a hell of a fight on his hands. If he doesn’t know that, he is obviously not training hard enough for me.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Fans invited to next month's Bellator Fan Fest with Angle, Ortiz, Couture, more

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Bellator heads to Houston for next month’s “tentpole event.” Beforehand, fans can get up close and personal with some MMA legends.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Brian Rogers vs. Alessio Sakara set for Bellator 152 in Italy

  • 27 days ago
  • 13 views

Bellator’s debut event in Italy has its first fight, and it features some familiar names.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Vinicius Queiroz in for injured Augusto Sakai against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 150

  • 26 days ago
  • 4 views

Cheick Kongo has a new heavyweight opponent at Bellator 150 as Augusto Sakai after an injury forced him from the card.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Several Fighters Revealed for Bellator and Oktagon Co-Promotion in Italy

  • 26 days ago
  • 5 views

New details were revealed this afternoon regarding the co-promotion between Bellator MMA and Oktagon Kickboxing. The partnership is set to take place on April 16 in Italy. read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2124 with Michael Chandler, Rob Font

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

Stream or download Tuesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Michael Chandler and Rob Font.Filed under: Bellator, MMAjunkie Radio, News, Radio, UFC read news >>

Diego Sanchez meets Jim Miller in UFC 197's featured Fight Pass prelim fight

  • 22 days ago
  • 7 views

The UFC’s new strategy of putting highly marketable bouts on the Fight Pass-streamed portion of its cards will continue in March. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane on life after KOing the soccer mom

  • 21 days ago
  • 18 views

Bellator women’s flyweight Ilima-Lei MacFarlane knew she would be answering questions about her first professional MMA bout for a while.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Who ya got?!? Fighters predict 'Rumble' vs. Bader at UFC on FOX 18

  • 21 days ago
  • 50 views

Two light-heavyweight title hopefuls meets next week in UFC on FOX 18’s headliner. So, who wins?Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Teammate: Josh Koscheck will fight again despite Bellator debut injury withdrawal

  • 21 days ago
  • 6 views

Josh Koscheck’s withdrawal from his Bellator debut due to injury could have been a significant setback for the veteran fighter. Fortunately, though, it won’t spell the end of the road for the 38-year read news >>

Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson rematch added to UFC 197

  • 21 days ago
  • 31 views

A key lightweight matchup has been added to a star-studded UFC 197 lineup, as Tony Ferguson meets Michael Johnson.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>