vinicius-queiroz.jpgJust underneath the surface, it’s obvious that Vinicius Queiroz is still bitter about his most recent defeat. But on the outside, he insists he’s put it behind. After all, there’s new business at hand.

“I’m happy for Alexander Volkov,” Queiroz told MMAjunkie.com in his native Portuguese. “He’s a great champion with a great fight record. But anyone who saw us fight knows that I was nullifying his game. No one else in Bellator fought him as well as I did.”

Queiroz (6-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and Bellator MMA heavyweight champ Volkov (19-3 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) met in the semifinals of the company’s Season 7 heavyweight tournament. While grappling specialist Queiroz stymied knockout artist Volkov in the early going, a controversial second-round referee restart gave the Russian the opening he needed to land heavy leather and end the fight.

“I think I was doing well at first, keeping a good distance,” Queiroz said. “But the referee interfered by standing us up too quickly after I took Volkov down. Many fans and even the Bellator officials saw this. That standup was a determining factor in our fight, but it’s water under the bridge now. Now my goal is to win this tourney and face him again. I’ll be even more prepared for his standup, and he’ll be more prepared for my ground game, so it will be a different fight altogether.”

Volkov would go on to defeat Richard Hale and claim Bellator’s vacant heavyweight belt. Queiroz now looks to earn his way to the rematch with a win in the company’s Season 9 heavyweight bracket. Up first is another hard-hitter, Lavar Johnson (17-7 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), at Friday’s Bellator 102 event at California’s Visalia Convention Center. The fight is part of the evening’s Spike TV-televised main card and follows prelims that stream on Spike.com.

“I think Lavar is a very experienced athlete, coming to Bellator from the UFC,” Queiroz said. “It’s a pleasure to welcome him to Bellator. He does have heavy hands and fights aggressively. I’ve fought muay Thai my entire life, so I’m more than ready to trade on the feet with him. I also feel my jiu-jitsu is an advantage over him. It may be a good path to win this fight. But I’m ready on the feet or on the ground, and undeniably he is very tough standing.”

The fight will certainly have an old-school feel. Both fighters’ path to victory seems clear. Johnson’s heavy hands have felled 15 former foes, but his undoing has often proved to be on the ground, where Queiroz will hold a significant edge. The winner moves on to face the victor in the night’s other semifinal bout with Mark Godbeer vs. Cheick Kongo.

A tournament win brings with it a shot at the promotion’s heavyweight belt, which is Queiroz’s ultimate goal. Should that mean a rematch with Volkov, as well, then all the sweeter.

“It’s just one fight at a time for me,” Queiroz said. “Of course I want a rematch with Volkov, but first I need to win this grand prix. Then I’ll face whoever happens to be holding the belt. That’s my focus.”

For more on Bellator 102, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

With Bellator Contract on the Line, Bobby Brents Sees Right Through Shamrock FC Opponent

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

Bobby Brents isn't looking past Shamrock FC opponent Bubba Grant, but he sees right through him with an eye on a Bellator contract. read news >>

Bubba Grant Staring Down a Breakout Year with Bellator Deal at Stake

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

Bubba Grant never gets too far ahead of himself, but winning a Shamrock FC belt and a Bellator contract could provide him with a breakout year. read news >>

Three New Bouts Complete Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2 Fight Card

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

Three contests have been added to Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2 on June 17 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, completing the fight card. read news >>

Super Prospect Darrion Caldwell, Melvin Guillard Top Bellator 159 Card

  • 25 days ago
  • 8 views

Darrion Caldwell, a national college wrestling champion and one of the brightest up-and-coming bantamweights in MMA, will vie for a title shot this summer when he faces Joe Taimanglo in the main even read news >>

Darrion Caldwell vs. Joe Taimanglo Headline Bellator 159

  • 24 days ago
  • 9 views

Bellator returns to Kansas with a pivotal matchup between undefeated phenom Darrion Caldwell and Joe Taimanglo to determine the No. 1 bantamweight contender. read news >>

Report: Former Bellator Fighter Shahbulat Shamhalaev Shot Multiple Times in Restaurant Altercation

  • 23 days ago
  • 82 views

Former Bellator MMA fighter Shahbulat Shamhalaev was hospitalized on Wednesday in Makhachkala, Russia after being shot "several times" while dining at a local restaurant. read news >>

Kevin “Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson Dead at 42

  • 19 days ago
  • 797 views

Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson has passed away in a Florida hospital. Bellator MMA president Scott Coker confirmed the news on Monday evening. He was 42. read news >>

Kimbo Slice Dead at Age 42 After Being Hospitalized

  • 19 days ago
  • 23 views

MMA fighter Kimbo Slice died Monday at the age of 42. Bellator President Scott Coker released a statement regarding the news, via B/R's Jonathan Snowden: TMZ Sports reported earlier Monday that polic read news >>

Bellator 158 Fight Card Set, Michael Page Now Faces Evangelista Santos in London

  • 16 days ago
  • 26 views

Arguably England’s two top welterweights, Paul “Semtex” Daley (38-13-2) and Michael “Venom” Page (10-0) have each been assigned new opponents for the upcoming “Bellator 158: London” event. read news >>

Bellator 156 Gets New Co-Main Event, Fight Card Finalized

  • 15 days ago
  • 9 views

An injury to Bellator 158 competitor Josh Koscheck has paved the way for a new co-main event at Bellator 156: Galvao vs. Dantas 2, pitting Chidi Njokuani against Thiago Jambo. read news >>