While it’s not unheard of to see grapplers and wrestlers fall in love with their striking and abandon their base, Guilherme Vasconcelos, better known as ‘Bomba,’ insists that’s not the case heading into Bellator 210.
Guilherme Vasconcelos takes part in a surprisingly stacked card at Bellator 210 this weekend. The opening event of back-to-back Bellator shows (Bellator 211 airs Saturday), it’s not a tentpole event, but still boasts names like former two-division champ Joe Warren, former title challenger Daniel Wichel, kickboxing star Joe Schilling, rising flyweight talents Kristina Williams and Bruna Ellen, not to mention ‘Bomba’ himself, and opponent David ‘Caveman’ Rickels.
Not a bad free card for a Friday night, quite frankly. For Vasconcelos (10-4), it’s an opportunity to put together two straight wins in Bellator’s deep welterweight division, the top end of which is currently in the midst of a grand prix tournament.
Bomba last fought in January, earning a submission win over Ivan Castillo. Since then, “I’ve been training, getting ready for the call. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing,” he told Cageside Press ahead of Bellator 210. “No injuries, no nothing.”
The Brazilian would have liked to have fought sooner. He did have a “little injury” immediately after his January bout, so he had to take a few weeks off. But after that, he would have liked to have got in the cage quicker. When the call didn’t come, he focused on “training and getting ready.”
While he’s been getting ready, Bomba admitted he didn’t see Caveman’s most recent outing, a tough loss against Michael ‘Venom’ Page at Bellator 200. “To be honest I didn’t watch that fight,” he told us, though he has watched tape of Rickels. “I know all his skills, everything I need to do for a fight against him.”
He sees Rickels as a “very tough opponent,” and one for which he is “ready for everything, ready for war.”
“I expect everything from him, he’s a tough guy like I said. He’s a tough guy, he’s motivated by his loss so he’s hungry for the win, you know,” Vasconcelos said. “It’s going to be a very tough fight for both guys.”
When Cageside Press spoke to David “Caveman” Rickels shortly before interviewing Bomba, Rickels suggested that the Brazilian was another classic case of a grappler falling in love with his striking. That’s not the case, insisted Guilherme Vasconcelos. “No man, I fight like, I have to take him down if he gives me a chance to take him down. I’ll take him down, but if he wants to strike… I just feel like, at some point in the fight, you’re feeling the fight.”
“Sometimes you’re good in standup, sometimes you feel like the fight is better for you on the ground,” he elaborated. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to change my game.” In short, he’s comfortable where ever the fight goes.
Moving forward, Bomba is hoping to fight more, maybe three or four times next year. But “David Rickels, he’s the only guy on my mind right now.” As for the Grand Prix, he called it a “great opportunity,” but one that for him, didn’t happen, at least this time around. So he’s going to focus on doing big things in Bellator.
‘Bomba’ burst into the public eye thanks to a relationship with pop Star Demi Lovato. And though she went through a rough patch including an overdose recently, Vasconcelos claimed that “to be honest I don’t know nothing about this.” Whether or not all the attention paid to the relationship proves to be a distraction when it comes to his fighting remains to be seen, but Bomba simply wasn’t interested in expanding on the subject.
As for this camp, he’s working with names like Joe Schilling and Mickey Gall. Schilling is also fighting at Bellator 210, back in the MMA game once more. “For me it’s a very [big] honor to be on the same card as Joe,” Bomba said. “Right now we’re teammates, we’re good friends. So for me to fight on the same card as Joe Schilling is a great honor for me, because he’s one of those guys, he’s one of the best strikers in the world.”
Bellator 210 takes place Friday, November 30 at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Guilherme ‘Bomba’ Vasconcelos vs. David ‘Caveman’ Rickels serves as the co-main event. The main card airs free on Paramount Network kicking off at 9PM EST.