The first round of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix rwas ecently completed and Yamauchi revealed that he was asked to be a part of the tournament field.
“They offered me the chance to compete in the featherweight tournament, but I can’t do it anymore,” Yamauchi told MMA Junkie. “Even the cut to lightweight is really hard, but I can still make the weight. I was thinking I’d move up to the welterweight division or maybe get creative with other weight classes I can compete in, but no featherweight. … It compromised my performances. Even at lightweight it’s compromised. Can you imagine with ten pounds more? I can’t do that no more.”
Yamauchi has competed as both a featherweight in lightweight in Bellator MMA, earning an overall record of 9-3-0 in the promotion.
Even though Yamauchi isn’t competing in the featherweight grand prix, one thing Yamauchi believes is that he is the most talented fighter in the world.
“Not to be cocky, but I think I’m in the most talented fighter in the world,” Yamauchi said. “Inside MMA, there’s not many people who can do what I do. I’ve got to show people it’s not the easy competing at this level of shows against that level of talent. I’m learning. It’s more mental, because physically I’m very talented. It’s all about being mentally sharp and ready and that’s what I feel. I feel mentally ready to put together my work and show it… Goiti is completely different now, so people can expect a better fighter.”
Bellator 229 takes place tonight from the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California with Andrey Koreshkov and Lorenz Larkin headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on the Paramount Network.
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