Goiti Yamauchi will end a 10-month layoff at Bellator 210 when he welcomes Daniel Weichel to the 155-pound ranks.
Goiti Yamauchi has been in Bellator for a significant amount of time, debuting for the promotion in 2013. The Brazilian/Japanese lightweight has proven to be more than a handful on the ground, finishing six of his eight Bellator victories by submission. The submission specialist will battle Daniel Weichel on the preliminary portion of Bellator 210.
Since his last fight, a loss against Michael Chandler in January, Yamauchi was scheduled for a lightweight bout with top contender Patricky Pitbull. Unfortunately, he was unable to make it to the fight due to an injury. Yamauchi detailed his recovery in an interview with Cageside Press:
“My recovery was fast because it was not a big injury. It was an ankle injury, but I pulled out of the fight because I wasn’t able to do a complete preparation against Patricky Pitbull so me and my team decided to leave the fight. But now I’m 100-percent, I’m healthy mentally and physically and ready to go.”
Pitbull went on to defeat Roger Huerta that night to cement himself as a top contender at lightweight. While Pitbull does not have a fight scheduled currently, Yamauchi realizes the opportunity may have escaped him.
“I don’t think he’ll fight until he gets his title shot. That’s what I believe. He’s too close, he’s doing good work. I believe he’s waiting for the opportunity to fight Chandler or Primus. But for me, I’m ready to fight him. If he wants to, I’ll be ready in five to six weeks.”
Goiti Yamauchi has fought one of those two fighters mentioned in Michael Chandler, giving him a first-hand perspective of the upcoming title fight.
“It’s going to be a good fight. I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for Chandler because Primus is a tough competitor. But I think Chandler is going to win the fight, probably because he is more experienced and has a better mental game, and physically, he’s like an animal.”
A win over a respected opponent like Daniel Weichel will get the contender much closer to the elusive lightweight title shot, but it will not be an easy task in his eyes.
“I expect the best athlete I’ve seen in my life. Daniel Weichel is a hell of a fighter. I’m expecting a big fight. I’m really confident that I will beat him because I’m in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically and I’m ready to destroy Daniel Weichel.”
While Yamauchi has plenty of exciting victories, he does not quite have that signature win to push him over the top. That may be the biggest factor in why he’s not typically mentioned when discussing the top 155ers in Bellator. However, a win this weekend could change things.
“I can’t tell [where a win places me] because I don’t really know. I was looking at the rankings and it was ridiculous. I wasn’t even top five and that’s bullsh*t. I think I’m in the top three of the division. So when I win this fight I believe I will be one fight away from fighting for the title. I don’t really know if it’s because I’m a Brazilian, I’m not from the United States, I don’t know. But I don’t really care. I have a lot of work to do. I have to prove that I’m the best. I’m not here to cry and ask for something, I’m here to prove that I’m the best. I will get my respect by facing the best guys in the world.”
While this bout is on the preliminary portion of the card, it’s a make-or-break fight for the grappler. To him, it doesn’t matter when the fight is, Goiti Yamauchi is ready to prove his worth.
“This might not be the toughest fight of my life, but it is the most important match of my career. I’m ready to show the best version of myself. It doesn’t matter if it’s prelims or main card, the payment will be the same. People will see it anyways. I don’t really care about card placement, I’m ready to make the first or last fight of the night, it’s not going to bother me.”
Bellator 210 takes place tomorrow in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The event airs live on the Paramount Network starting at 9 p.m. EST.