Phoenix, AZ — Canada’s Lance Gibson Jr. continued to impress over the weekend at Bellator 268.
Improving his pro record to 5-0, lightweight Gibson picked up a TKO win over Raymond Pina, set up by a smart knee that led to a fantastic finishing sequence. Gibson trapped his opponent’s arm behind his back, controlling the wrist and unleashing several more knees and heavy punches. He then climbed the back, forced Pina down, and finished the fight with some ground n’ pound.
“It’s exactly what we prepared for, so I’m pretty ecstatic. It was obviously the exact finish I wanted at the end,” Gibson told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight.
With the fight coming in Phoenix and Pina being a local guy, Gibson had expected a tough fight. “I know from wrestling back when I was in high school and throughout my life, Arizona has some tough wrestlers. I knew he was going to bring it, he’s a coach as well,” noted Gibson. “We knew he was going to bring it, we prepared for the worst case scenario, me being on my back for 15 minutes. We trained for this, I was born for this. Since I was a young kid, I was doing those exact moves.”
Gibson has his own ties to the Arizona area, and had his share of support in the crowd Saturday night. He was also well-prepared for Pina’s game plan. “We knew he was going to come in heavy wrestling, and he wasted his energy. He was winded even in the first round.” By the end of the first, Gibson noted, “he was swinging heavy, but he was going to be tired. Second round, his standup was shaky, he wasn’t confident in his striking. Then I knew a bad shot was going to come, and that’s when I timed my knee.”
At the end of the day, fighting is what Lance Gibson Jr. was made for, so the awkwardly creative position of the finishing sequence wasn’t an obstacle for him. “I was bred for, unfortunately, violence. I was bred for mixed martial arts, I was bred for violence. So it’s kind of second nature to me, I don’t really even think about it,” he stated. “It’s old school actually from my dad, my dad back in the day, fighting no weight classes, 30 minute time limits. Old school Pankration where you put guys in pretzels and you beat them down from there.”
Coming out of Bellator 268, Gibson hopes to find himself in the rankings. “I’d like to be ranked. I’d like to be ranked in the top 10. At the end of the day, I’m focused on me and what I need to do, but I do believe with that finish, I should be ranked in the top 10 for sure.”
Watch the full Bellator 268 post-fight press conference with Lance Gibson Jr. above. More coverage from the event can be found below.