Bellator 216: Vinicius de Jesus Looking Forward to Big Weekend in Bellator, Chance to Prove He’s a Top Contender

Vinicius de Jesus Bellator MMA
Vinicius de Jesus Credit: Instagram (vinidejesusbjj)

Vinicius de Jesus steps into this weekend with a 6-2 record, a winner in 5 of his last 6 appearances, and “The Brazilian Bad Boy” is ready for a big weekend where he can prove he is ready for the big time.

The last time we saw “The Brazilian Bad Boy” in the cage was in a unanimous decision win over Tim Caron last October. The quick turnaround now to Bellator 216 on February 16 not only means de Jesus is ready to build on his success, but that he has a plan to get to the top of the division. That plan is to fight early and often.

“No injury last fight, trained a week later and that meant I wanted to get back in the cage as soon as possible,” he told Cageside Press ahead of the event this weekend. “Right now I am focusing on techniques in training, my team is very aware of over-training so my coaches are amazing at making sure I am ready but healthy.”

The opponent that Vinicius will be meeting opposite him in the cage come Bellator 216 is Rodolfo Barcellos. “The Crocodile” is making his Bellator debut and this will only be his second professional fight.

“I don’t care who I fight. I just want someone who will show up and help me put on a show. At one point in time we were all only in our first or second fight, he is an up and comer, we will see what he has to offer this weekend.”

Rodolfo may only be 1-0 on paper in his professional MMA career, but the man is a Brazilian Black Belt which always poses a danger. De Jesus is no stranger when it comes to a ground game, and is not worried about where this fight may go, especially seeing how good his boxing compliments his ground game.

“I feel so comfortable when I fight, if I fight on the ground. I grew up in Jiu Jitsu, I can box very well, I can change my game-plan at different points of a fight,” he said. “Especially being with Renzo Gracie I feel all of my skills have improved. I am working with some special guys, UFC guys, Bellator guys everyone is special.”

As for the game-plan him and his coaches have come up with, his response was simple.

“I want to stand up and fight, I have zero problems with a ground game fight, but I want to excite the fans so we will see what happens.”

De Jesus believes that without his training partners, he would not be a Bellator fighter, and a successful one at that. He believes you can only become better from learning from others, and who better to learn from than the guys you train with daily.

“Some days I get my a** handed to me, some days I go out there and look amazing, this is what sparring and training is all about,” he pointed out. “Without the guys I am with everyday, the coaches, I would never improve, never be put in tough situations where I need to learn and process. It is all about growing.”

At the end of the day the reason for all of this in the mind of the “Brazilian Bad Boy” is to get into contention in the welterweight division of the Bellator ranks. Fighting often, being active and winning are the only way to get your name into contention.

“I want to be a top guy for this division. We are looking for a door to open for us. This is a big weekend for Bellator, lot of eyes on me. This guy I fight, he has nothing to lose, I am risking a lot but that is how you become a champion level guy.”

There is definitely going to be a lot of eyes on the Bellator cards this weekend, not only a back to back card but some hugely anticipated fights occurring this weekend. Although not everything went to plan for de Jesus, this weekend can be a big one for him with a win.

“I am not too happy with the financials of my fight, I wanted a bigger opponent, but at the end of the day I do what my boss tells me. They wanted me on this card and that shows me they believe in my future as much as I do.”

Lastly family was brought up, and how important it is to have the support system at your side as a fighter. Win or lose, family is there to have your back.

“Right now my father is listening to us interview and is loving it, he loves what I do,” De Jesus said. “My family is everything to me man, my wife is a black belt as well so this is a family business. They know the sacrifices I have to make, travel, weight cutting, being a father and husband it is all important to me. People just see the show and glamour they don’t know the sacrifice.”

Vinicius de Jesus will take on Rodolfo Barcellos at Bellator 216 this weekend when Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.