Interview with Bellator contender Linton Vassell

Gareth Hunter Roar Rookie

By Gareth Hunter, Gareth Hunter is a Roar Rookie


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    Steven Kennedy has had to crowdfund his way to UFC 193. (Image via GoFundMe)

    First off, I’d like to apologise to Linton Vassell for a mistake I made in my previous article. I stated that he won by unanimous decision against Liam McGeary, but in fact, he won by submission is the third round.

    Linton Vassell is slowly but surely making a big name for himself not only in the world of Bellator MMA but Mixed Martial Arts in general. In Bellator, Vassell has tallied up an impressive 7-2 record since debuting for the promotion in November of 2013.

    After only his fourth fight in Bellator, Vassell earned a Light Heavyweight title shot against all-round sensation, Emmanuel Newton. At one point in the fight, Vassell looked to have Newton in a tight submission hold only seconds away from victory, only to have Newton slide out. Newton went on to defend his title with a rear naked choke win in the fifth round.

    Since that lost opportunity, Vassell has been on an absolute tear in the LHW division. Going 4-1 since that fight and maybe securing the biggest win of his career against former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion, Liam McGeary. Not only was it McGeary’s second only loss, but it was the first time anyone had ever finished the British brute. Since then, Vassell and his fans have been rallying for what is his – a title shot.

    Linton Vassell was a pleasure to do business with and was very gracious with his time.

    Tito Ortiz punches Ken Shamrock

    (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

    What was your main reasoning for becoming a Mixed Martial Artist?
    Linton: “I’m not going to come out with some fancy story, I literally just happened upon it, I had no interest in actually completing and becoming a professional fighter at all.”

    Have you always fought at Light Heavyweight? If not, what weight class? And do you feel at your most comfortable in LHW?
    Linton: “I fought HW and LHW at the start of my career, anywhere where I could get a match up, it was really hard finding fights at LHW is I would take what was available, I still want to fight at HW in Bellator, I feel that there is a lot of great match-ups, and the division is wide open.”

    Out of all the current fighters in the world, who would you love to fight and why?
    Linton: “Ryan Bader he has my World Title.”

    I am a proud Australian, have you ever considered fighting here in Oz? Do you think Bellator touring Australia would ever happen?
    Linton: “I love travelling and meeting all my fans from all over the world, I would love to fight in Australia and put a show on for all you guys, I think that there is a big gap in the market for an event in Australia. And yes I do think Bellator will come to Australia some point in the near future.”

    Could you ever see yourself fighting in another promotion such as UFC or ONE?
    Linton: “No”

    Every fan of yours knows that you are a Submission machine, what is your favourite submission to use and why?

    Linton: “The RNC, every time I fight I always get their back and I love choking people and making them tap ha ha.”

    In Bellator, you have fought a lot of big-name fighters such as Liam McGeary, King MO, Francis Carmont and Emmanuel Newton twice, Who was the most intimidating? And who did you want to beat the most and why?
    Linton: “I don’t get intimidated by anyone. But the guy I really wanted to beat was Newton, as I had previously lost the first fight against him, so it was a must-win fight for me. And revenge is so sweet.”

    Off topic a bit, but I am a huge movie buff. What is your favourite sporting movie of all time and why?
    Linton: “I’m a big Bruce Lee fan and growing up I use to watch Enter the Dragon over and over again, his style was just amazing and the was he moved was out of this world, but the best bit in the movie was when he pulled out his nunchucks.”

    At 34, how long do you see yourself fighting for and how long would you like to fight for?
    Linton: “Until it’s time to hang my gloves up, I will know when it’s time.”

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