He may be the best Bellator 170lb’er not currently in the welterweight grand prix. He has been mentored by some of the greats. And Friday at Bellator 215, Logan Storley will look to move to 10-0, inching ever closer to his goal.
With the possibility of moving to 10-0 staring him in the face ahead of Bellator 215, perhaps it’s time to move on from calling Logan Storley a “prospect.” Quite frankly, Storley has arrived, and if successful against Ion Pascu this Friday, he’ll have put a stamp on that, moving into double digits in the win column without having taken a single loss.
Of course, Pascu is no pushover, and is the more experienced fighter. But Storley has worked with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Tony Ferguson, Robbie Lawler, and even Ben Askren over the years. Experiences that have allowed him to hone his skills, and go on to forge his own path.
“My biggest success is just that hard-nosed wrestling style, that I created at the University of Minnesota, high school, all those things,” the welterweight told Cageside Press ahead of Bellator 215. “Working, the way you work, the way you go about things.”
“Wrestling really created that mentality of just toughness, showing up to work every single day, and being prepared for a hard practice, and a hard go.” For Storley, that gives him an edge each and every time he competes.
When he first came into the public eye, the talk surrounding Logan Storley was always about Brock Lesnar. Both had attended the University of Minnesota. The UFC heavyweight champion had taken Storley under his wing. The comparisons seemed endless, but even as he forges his own path today, he’s never really been too concerned about it.
“Brock helped me a lot, but Brock’s doing his thing, and I’m doing my thing.”
“Brock helped me quite a bit when I was a young kid in high school. I got to be around him, and see his training camps,” Storley explained, adding “and spend time with guys like Tony Ferguson when Tony was just first starting. I got to wrestle with him and spar with him as a senior in high school.”
“Brock helped me a lot, but Brock’s doing his thing, and I’m doing my thing,” he said of how things stand today. “That’s kind of how I look at it.”
Storley’s “thing” is wreaking havoc on the welterweight division. At 10-0, in other circumstances, title shot talk might be swirling. But in the deep 170lb weight class, in the midst of a grand prix tournament, that seems a ways off.
“That definitely probably extended it a little bit,” Storley told us in terms of his title shot aspirations. “It’s not the worst thing in the world. It’s not the best thing in the world, but that’s what Bellator wanted to do, so that’s what they’re going to do. When that’s all done, we’ll see what’s going on with the division. Where everyone’s at, how the fights went. Whether they were super competitive, if there’s any rematches. You just never know what’s going to happen.”
As for Storley taking part in the tournament, “we talked about it. Obviously Bellator, they put some more experienced guys in there, for the most part.”
Another obstacle, Storley’s contract would have run out halfway through the grand prix. “Things like that also made a difference,” he admitted. “It is what it is, all I can do is get better every single day, and be ready for the fight next Friday, and what ever’s after that.”
For now, he’s focused on Ion Pascu, who he called “a tough guy with a good chin. He has power in his hands. And he has good wrestling.” The latter certainly has his attention. “For me, that’s exciting, to see if he’s going to wrestle me, if he’s going to stand up and try to throw big shots. Either way, we’re ready for him.”
When we spoke to Pascu, he was certainly confident in his abilities. But Logan Storley is as well. “I’m confident in what I do, and know that I do it very well.”
What he feels gives him the edge is “the ability to change from striking to wrestling to scrambling back to wrestling back to striking, I think that I’ll be a step ahead of him. He’s a tough guy, but it’s a different level of wrestler.”
Later, he added that “for me it’s winning the little scrambles, winning the little trades. Winning those situations standing up, winning those situations when we’re wrestling, winning those situations when we’re grappling. And putting everything together and making a guy work hard for fifteen minutes, and not letting him off the hook.”
He has no intention of taking his foot off the gas, or letting Pascu coast. He plans to go hard, adding that “if guys can’t keep up with you, they’re going to fold eventually.”
While he worked with Brock Lesnar and Tony Ferguson early on, these days Storley trains with another big name, Robbie Lawler. “I’ve been working with Rob for two years now. He’s a good friend of mine. He guides me on a daily basis,” Storley told us.
It’s certainly a solid choice for mentor, as Lawler has a wealth of experience. “I think his first fight was when he was 22. We were doing the math, I was like in third grade when he had his first UFC fight. It’s crazy, you know, and he’s done things right.”
“I train side by side with him in the gym, and then our strength and conditioning, we go to the same place,” Storley continued. “You see a guy who’s 36 years old who’s working that hard, you’ve got to keep up with it. For me, it’s been a blessing in disguise, when I first moved down here [to Florida], and changed gyms, and got to work with Robbie. For me its been great. Just how calm he is about everything. He doesn’t really get excited about too much. It’s nice having him there during fight week. It’s just another day.”
Lawler, of course, is getting ready for former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight king Ben Askren, who was recently traded to the UFC. “I was really surprised when the deal actually went through,” Storley admitted. “Robbie’s getting ready for him, and Robbie’s my guy, but I’ve spent time with Askren too. I like him, he’s a funny guy. He’s a nice guy, he helped me out when I was in college, and I spent some time training with him.”
The way Storley sees it, Askren “came out and said the truth, that they never let him over there [in the UFC]. Whereas if he was a knockout artist and KO’ing everyone, they would have signed him right away.”
“Obviously it kind of sucks that Ben’s fighting Robbie, my guy, first. So I’m excited to see what Rob can do, but it’ll be exciting to see the fights after this one, and who Ben fights and how it goes for him.”
First up, of course, Storley has his own fight. It all goes down this Friday, February 15 on the main card of Bellator 215, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The show airs live on Paramount Network and DAZN following online prelims.