Following a failed attempt to make the lightweight limit in December, Goiti Yamauchi announced that he was done in the weight class. So just why is he competing there once again Friday night at Bellator 256?
Speaking to Cageside Press during a virtual media day promoting the event this week, the Bellator vet stated that “after the weigh-in [at Bellator 254], after all the situation in the last fight that didn’t happen, I was sure I wouldn’t compete in the lightweight division anymore.”
For good reason, too. After missing weight by 6.8lb for his fight with Nate Andrews, Yamauchi was ruled out of the fight. Mohegan Sun commissioner Mike Mazzulli declared that Yamauchi would be required to fight at welterweight in future, after had also missed weight for a previous bout in Japan.
“I was so confused, I was so bummed out, I was sad because of the whole situation,” admitted Yamauchi, who took some time to reflect. “I took a month off, just thinking about my career, my life, then all of a sudden I had a thought: ‘I’ve got to get the belt of 155. I’ve got to come back for the lightweight division.'”
“It was something from my mind, I don’t know, it was just an insight that I had,” Yamauchi continued, “and it told me to compete at lightweight, just make your last run for the lightweight belt, and after that you can move up.”
Moving up is in the cards, and probably not too far down the road. “This is going to be my last shot for the belt. In the near future, people will see Goiti compete at welterweight for sure.”
First, however, he starts his final run at lightweight by taking a short-notice fight against UFC veteran Dan Moret. The bout was announced barely a week ago.
“I just want to thank Dan for taking this fight on short notice. Massive respect,” said Yamauchi. After watching a few of Moret’s fights, Yamauchi knows that “he’s a good, tough competitor. Good match-up for styles.” It’s a fight, Goiti Yamauchi added, that he believes “is going to be the best fight on Friday night, for sure.”
Watch the full Bellator 256 virtual media day scrum with Goiti Yamauchi above. The event takes place Friday, April 9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.