Phoenix, AZ — Sweden’s Karl Albrektsson has been pulling double duty of the late, competing for Superior Challenge at home while also making appearances for Bellator MMA during the pandemic.
This Saturday at Bellator 268, Albrektsson (12-3) steps into the cage for the third time this year, and second time for Bellator in the past 12 months.
“This is the highest level, this is where I think I belong, so it’s great to be here,” Albrektsson told media outlets including Cageside Press during Thursday’s Bellator 268 media day.
Albrektsson is looking to prove something against an opponent in Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov who he called “a very dangerous, very tough opponent.” Noting that Yagshimuradov, who was recently eliminated from the light heavyweight grand prix, is a “very skilled former champion in a big Russian organization,” Albrektsson stated that “I think I have a lot to prove. I need to prove my heart, and make this a grinding fight.”
The Swedish light heavyweight has intimate knowledge of the fight topping the card at Bellator 268. Albrektsson was supposed to be fighting Julius Anglickas this weekend, but with Anthony Johnson withdrawing from the grand prix, Anglickas was picked to replace him. Now, Albrektsson’s would-be opponent is facing a former foe: Bellator light heavyweight champ Vadim Nemkov, who Albrektsson defeated at RIZIN 1 in February 2016.
Giving his thoughts on Saturday’s main event, Albrektsson noted that Nemkov is the favorite, but added that “I think his problem might be if he’s underestimating Julius, because Julius is obviously a skilled, tough fighter, but nobody thinks he’s going to win. So I think he still has a good chance to make a good performance and maybe get away with the win.”
As for the other light heavyweight semifinal between Corey Anderson and Ryan Bader? “That’s a tough fight. I think maybe Corey will take this one. I don’t know why, just a gut feeling.”
Watch the full Bellator 268 media scrum with Karl Albrektsson above. More coverage can be found below. The event takes place this Saturday, October 16, 2021 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.