Former Bellator tournament winner and title contender Daniel Weichel is promising some explosive action in the featherweight grand prix — starting with Bellator 228.
Los Angeles, CA — Daniel Weichel has fought in tournaments before. Specifically, he’s won a Bellator tournament, back in the old season format days of the promotion. In fact, Weichel (39–11) won the Season Ten Featherweight Tournament to claim a shot at 145lb gold against Patricio Pitbull. While he came up short against champ Pitbull (twice, to be more accurate), you’d think that tournament experience might give him an edge when he enters the featherweight grand prix at Bellator 228 this weekend.
Then again, maybe not. Speaking to Cageside Press at the Bellator 228 media day, Weichel observed that “it was a completely different format for the tournament, it was three fights in three months, now it’s over one year.” That’s not to say he takes nothing at all from back then. “But I think each and every fight from the very start, I take as an experience — no matter winning or losing, take as an experience, learn from it, and bring it into this tournament.”
Fair enough. It is a very different tournament this time around, and not just because of the time frame. Fighters will choose their fate on Saturday, selecting when and who they fight in the second round. As to which Weichel will pick based on, the date or the opponent, he said simply that “both will play a factor. It depends on how the fight goes this Saturday. Injuries can play a factor. Right now I just have this fight in front of me. I have big confidence in my team that they are also having a look at it. We’ll figure it out Saturday after the fight.”
With half the opening round having gone down at Bellator 226 earlier this month, Weichel had a chance to observe the field, and admitted that “automatically I’m checking the other fights. It was good to see the level they are at right now. It’s fresher, you don’t have one year in between, you see, this is the level they’re at right now. It’s good to have this state of mind.”
As for grand prix opponent Saul Rodgers, “he’s a strong, strong wrestler. I think this is his main game,” Weichel said. “Of course he’s got some experience, but I try to focus more on myself and to put my game plan on Saturday.”
In one final message, Weichel cut a bit of a promo. “This Saturday will be the beginning, when I go step by step at winning this tournament, from one fight to another,” he exclaimed. “Don’t miss it. I will bring fireworks!”
Bellator 228 takes place Saturday, September 28 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.