Luke Trainer continued to live up to every bit of the hype surrounding him at Bellator 267, even after a year on the sidelines.
In a main card light heavyweight scrap, Trainer (5-0) finished Yannick Bahati with a nasty elbow in the second round. It wasn’t easy — as much a struggle due to the level of opposition as the admiration Trainer had for his opponent.
Admitting that they shared a moment after the fight, Trainer told reporters about the respect he had for Bahati. “I didn’t want to disclose it, I didn’t want to think about it during fight camp, but I saw an interview a few months ago of him, like me a flippin’ big softy, crying,” admitted Trainer. “He has sons, he puts all his life into this game. And he cried in the interview and he just showed nothing but emotion. He lives the art of a Samurai, and I flippin’ respect that man to the end. It was actually really hard for me to see him down.”
That’s a new experience for the 205lb prospect, but one he expects more of. “Normally I expect them to fall and I relish in the violence. This one was a bit bittersweet. But as I progress, I’m going to fight men of the same caliber, I’m going to fight men who fight for their families, to put bread on the table,” he continued. “So I need to get used to that, I need to get used to hurting individuals I respect.”
If Luke Trainer gets his way, his next fight will be against another man he respects: Ben Parrish. “Big Tuna” recently derailed the hype train of Christian Edwards, at least for now. Trainer made a respectful callout of him after his victory at Bellator 267.
“He’s a savage. I have to test myself against every savage in there,” Trainer said in way of explanation. “I want nothing but hard fights. I’m going to build, I’m going to be smart, but I want guys of my caliber or higher. I believe Ben is that man. I need to get out in the States. I need the cheddar, I need to fill the fridge with the bread, and that’s how I’m going to do it. I have to create my own legacy. I have to build a narrative, and Ben is my narrative.”
Watch the full Bellator 267 post-fight press scrum with Luke Trainer above. More coverage from the event can be found below.