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

Video: Watch Chael Sonnen beat Tito Ortiz in 44 seconds ... in a 1998 wrestling match

  • 27 days ago
  • 2845 views

When Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz face off at Bellator 170, it won’t be their first time meeting in athletic competition.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey Gets New Promo Clip, 'Vengeance On My Mind' (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 28 views

UFC and international recording artist G-EAZY unleashed a new UFC 207 promotional clip, “Vengeance on My Mind,” on Tuesday. read news >>

Chael Sonnen passes pre-fight drug test for Bellator 170 headliner vs. Tito Ortiz

  • 22 days ago
  • 13 views

Bellator light heavyweight Chael Sonnen is off to a good start with his new promoter. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 170 lineup set with Derek Anderson-Derek Campos on main card, Ruth-Schneider on prelims

  • 22 days ago
  • 3 views

The lineup for next month’s Bellator 170 is official and complete with the addition of two more fights for card in Southern California.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen Fight Card Complete with 17 Bouts | MMAWeekly.com

  • 22 days ago
  • 24 views

The stacked main card of “Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen” has added even more ammo to its arsenal with the news that Derek Campos will face Derek Anderson. read news >>

Bellator 170: Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen Media Call Audio | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 44 views

Bellator 170 main eventers Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen fielded questions from the media ahead of the Jan. 21 event at the Forum in Los Angeles. read news >>

Demi Lovato Left Luke Rockhold for a Guy from Bellator | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 902 views

Let's hope Luke Rockhold doesn't take it too hard. At least not, for his sake, on the chin. read news >>

Tito Ortiz says Chael Sonnen will '(expletive) himself' and drown 'in his own blood' at Bellator 170

  • 15 days ago
  • 13 views

Tito Ortiz is at his most intense when he’s about to head into a fight. Add in the fact Ortiz doesn’t like his opponent, and the volume gets cranked up even louder.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 170's Chael Sonnen fighting Tito Ortiz, but hasn't forgotten about Wanderlei Silva

  • 15 days ago
  • 27 views

When Wanderlei Silva returns to the cage, Chael Sonnen will be waiting. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator's Fedor Fight Card Gets Two New Main Card Bouts | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 23 views

Cheick Kongo will challenge Oli Thompson during the main card of “Bellator 172: Fedor vs. Mitrione.” read news >>