Don’t expect a quick night for Jaleel Willis at Bellator 268. He certainly isn’t.
Willis (15-2) returns to the Bellator cage this weekend for the third time. He takes on a fellow highly touted prospect Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-1), who is riding an impressive win streak and has finished 11 of his 14 opponents.
While Willis is looking for his first highlight reel finish in Bellator MMA, he sees the bout with Berkhamov being a slow, grueling fight. He does see himself finishing the Russian at the end of the day, however.
“Yeah, I 100% see myself stopping this guy and getting my first Bellator finish. When I say I’ve been putting in a lot of work, I mean that I am have been putting in a lot f*cking work. I just see this guy as a very talented hot prospect like myself, and I’m trying to fight the best competition, so I know what kind of fight this will be,” Willis told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview.
“It’s going to end up being a slow smothering fight. Like, there are too many places where he’s just slick, to where if I get too excited or try to, you know, hop on something a little bit too quick, he can make you pay. He can definitely show up when it’s time to. So, to me, it’s just like, I’ve worked to fu*king hard for this guy to take what I’ve been working for. I got to tell myself just to slow it down, and I can beat him in any position. So I just have to focus on that right there. So, that’s the reason in my head; you’ll see a slow smothering fight. I just have to pick him apart.”
Willis isn’t looking past his Russian opponent by any means, but he has someone he wants next. Logan Storley
“I’ve had my eye on Logan Storley for a while now. He asked to fight me, but I wasn’t able to step up at the time. That really pissed me off, and it f*cked with me,” Willis said. “I feel like I f*cked up and let that one get away from me. It was a perfect time for me to get back into the rankings. I screwed it up. I should have been ready. Hopefully, it comes back around after this next fight.”
Jaleel Willis fights Mukhamed Berkhamov at Bellator 268 on Saturday, October 16, 2021. The preliminary card will be available on YouTube, PlutoTV, and right here on Cageside Press.