Training with the likes of Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson, SBG Ireland’s Ion Pascu is looking to show he can hang with the best in Bellator’s welterweight division.
Ion Pascu has been a fighter called upon to face some of Bellator’s best up-and-comers in the welterweight division. Ed Ruth and Lorenz Larkin have been the names so far, and Logan Storley is next. That goes down at Friday’s Bellator 215. While Pascu came up short in his previous Bellator outings, ‘Bombardierul’ isn’t shying away from tough fights. And the Romanian did sandwich a win over Alex Lohore between his two Bellator losses, fighting in BAMMA.
“That’s the kind of fight I look for, because I know I have a good level, and I can fight with these guys,” Pascu told Cageside Press ahead of his Bellator 215 showdown against Storley. “I like fighting with these guys. I want to show the people where my position is [in the division].”
Pascu (18-9) feels he didn’t necessarily have the proper time, or camp, in his past Bellator outings. The Larkin fight, in particular, he took short notice. “With Logan, I think it’ll be different,” he said. Still, he has no regrets taking that fight.
“I learned not to take any short notice fights,” he joked when asked what he took away from it, before adding “maybe if I was more aggressive with him, maybe it would be a different decision.”
Pascu is now under an exclusive contract with Bellator, so every fight moving forward is crucial. Starting with Storley, one of Bellator’s hot prospects. ‘Storm’ is undefeated at 9-0, but Pascu has a clear advantage in experience and level of competition.
Pascu’s take on his opponent is that “basically he’s good in wrestling.” Then again, he feels he is as well. “Maybe I don’t show it in my fights, but if you saw my fight with Lohore, or with someone else, maybe you see I also have good wrestling. Maybe I try to defend his wrestling, and I try to keep the fight in the stand-up.”
A classic striker vs. grappler match, then. “I know I will beat this guy, I will make a good show because I have a mind to knock him out in the first round,” Pascu predicted.
Pascu is watching the welterweight grand prix unfold, and as part of the division, we asked who he felt would win the tournament: “Rory MacDonald, because he’s the champion,” the Romanian picked.
SBG Ireland is home to Conor McGregor, Gunnar Nelson, and more — and that’s where Pascu is training as well. “It’s good to train with these guys, because they fight on a high level,” he said of his more famous teammates. “Conor McGregor was a champion, Gunnar Nelson was a champion in wrestling. They help me to reach, to be better.”
Bellator 215 takes place Friday, February 15 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The main card airs live on Paramount Network and DAZN.