John Salter Not Happy with Early Approach at Bellator 244: “I don’t like to be a guy that gets mount and lays on somebody.”

Uncasville, CT — “It was a tough one,” middleweight John Salter said of his win over Andrew Kapel at Bellator 244.

Salter (18-4) has been circling a title shot for a while, and had come close, losing in a title eliminator to Rafael Lovato Jr. a few years ago. Lovato went on to become champ, only to vacate the belt due to health issues. It now sits vacant, with a tentative plan in place to have 170lb champ Douglas Lima face Gegard Mousasi for title.

Salter was hoping to jump the line with a big performance Friday. The end result was a submission win over Kapel, after a couple of rounds that even Salter would admit weren’t the most exciting.

“I don’t like to be a guy that gets mount and lays on somebody. I’m kind of disappointed that I did that,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “But he’s a good grappler, and keeping him there was tough.”

“There was no guarantee to win on the feet, I knew there was a guarantee to win on the ground,” Salter continued. “Late in that third round, I just kept telling myself ‘you’re not a guy that lays and wins a decision, you’re a finisher.’ And so I just kept inching and inching and inching to that arm-triangle. I’d have been disappointed in myself if I didn’t finish him. I had to get that finish.”

The question now is, was it enough to get the title opportunity he’s been seeking? “I hope so,” answered Salter. “I’m not thrilled with my performance for the first and second round, but I did what I had to do. At the end of the day I finished a very good fighter, and I think that should put me right there. We’ve got limitations on who can get in the country, so I think it only makes sense that me and Lima fight for the title.”

Bellator President Scott Coker has suggested Lima and Mousasi might still be on. If that were the case, Salter will fight, or wait, whatever the promotion wants. Given his choice, however, “I’d definitely like to fight again before the end of the year.”

“There’s a lot of guys out there that are hungry because of COVID, that need fights. So obviously I’d love to go get another fight in, but I know guys need it,” he added, recognizing that there are plenty of fighters in need. “So I’m not going to be that guy wearing people out, hounding them about it, because I know people need it.”

Watch the full Bellator 244 post-fight press conference with John Salter above.