Los Angeles, CA — Bellator mainstay Goiti Yamauchi returns this weekend, entering his showdown against Team Alpha Male’s Chris Gonzalez off a split decision loss to Dan Moret.
The loss was not without controversy, and needless to say, Yamauchi (25-5) feels he won the fight.
“I felt I won easy, that fight. but it is what it is, it happened for a reason,” the lightweight said Wednesday, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press at the Bellator 263 media day. “For me, it’s about moving forward, keep moving forward, move on. It’s not the first time, it’s not going to be the last time that judges make mistakes in the fight. I took the lessons from that fight, and I’m trying to move on.”
Interestingly enough, Bellator’s rankings seem to reflect that many felt Yamauchi won the fight. “People who make the rankings could see that it wasn’t fair to put him ahead of me in the rankings. So I’m happy and relieved a little bit,” said Yamauchi. The Brazilian-Japanese fighter currently sits at #5.
That having been said, Yamauchi added that he doesn’t care too much about the rankings, “because I don’t know if it really matters when they’re making the fights. But to make good fights and big fights for me, for my career, it’s important to be in a good position in the rankings. I’m happy, and I will climb the rankings Saturday night for sure.”
Whether he’ll be within striking distance of a title shot is another matter. But Yamauchi sees plenty of options at 155, he said when asked if Saturday was an opportunity to send a message to double-champ Patricio Pitbull.
“There’s a lot of good match-ups in the lightweight division. This card was made to [promote] the lightweight division, I think,” said Yamauchi. “Because we have the featherweight and lightweight champion [Pitbull] fighting on the same card, we have the former lightweight champion [Brent Primus]. So we have some top-ranked fighters in the lightweight division.”
If Pitbull doesn’t move up and defend his title following the featherweight tournament, Yamauchi isn’t sure what will happen. “I heard Patricio will let his brother [Patricky Pitbull] fight for the title, but the top 5 in the rankings is just a little bit confusing. I think after this Saturday, July 31, a lot of things will start to make sense.”
Watch the full Bellator 263 media day press scrum with Goiti Yamauchi above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 31 at The Forum in Los Angeles. The main card airs on Showtime following online prelims right here on Cageside Press.