Kendall Grove is looking to get back in the title picture, and it's middleweight or bust for him.
The former Ultimate Fighter champion grove is one of the biggest 185 pounders in history. As he marches towards his Friday night main event at Bellator 162 against former Middleweight Champion Alexander Shlemenko, Grove says he's all in on the middleweight division.
"Last Thursday I woke up at like 194. My last fight when I fought Francisco France I woke up on weight, I went to sleep after eating dinner and I woke up at 186.8 and I had to lose .8lbs and I ate so middleweight is where I’m going to be. I have no business at 205. I fought at 205 a couple times and got fucking smoked. They are just bigger guys and I’m just smaller…I’m tall but…you know what I mean," Grove told Fightful.com in an exclusive interview.
Grove's opponent Alexander Shlemenko faced a suspension -- which was later overturned -- after his Bellator 133 drug tests revealed elevated levels of testosterone. During his time off, Shlemenko fought twice in Russia, away from the sanctioning athletic commission that suspended him. Grove said that his 'suspension' wasn't much of one, and acknowledges the danger ahead of him.
"Ha. He was never suspended he was fighting in Russia!," said Groce. "Nah, all jokes aside, a tough Russian who hits fricken hard. No surprise he’s going to try and spinning back kick me, he’s going to try and kick the shit out of my legs, he going to try to knock me out and he’s going to try and blitz me. He’s going to do what Shlemenko does, you know? I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see what going to go down. Im training my ass off to come out victorious, I’m sure he is doing the same and we’ll see."
Grove is no stranger to the main event spot -- he competed for the middleweight title in the feature bout at Bellator 137. Still, Grove doesn't care where he is on the card.
"A fight's a fight. Instead of fighting first I’m fighting last. Maybe not pressure, just maybe anxiousness. You always want to just go in there and fight but very blessed and privileged to be the main event in such a beautiful arena in a great town and I can’t wait to give the fans what they want to see, a dominant ass fighter willing to go out on his shield. Can’t wait to bring a little piece of Hawaiian spirit to Memphis, Tennessee," said Grove.
Bellator 162 takes place October 21 from the Fedex Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. Fightful.com will have full coverage of the event.
Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA