Bellator 269 heavyweight Said Sowma has a tall order in Moscow this weekend.
Sowma (7-2), coming off a win over UFC alum Ronny Markes, has been paired up with former Bellator MMA heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov in the Moscow card’s co-main event.
Minakov has just one loss on his record, and 22 wins to his name. Sowma, meanwhile, is stepping in to replace Tyrell Fortune, and can only be seen as a sizable underdog.
That said, he was up for the challenge, and actually campaigned to be part of the promotion’s first trip to Russia.
“When I heard that Bellator was coming to Russia, I just wanted to go too. I asked to come to Russia, and then they said the only guy they had was Vitaly,” Sowma revealed during this week’s Bellator 269 media day. “So I was like ‘alright, I’ll take it.’ I’m always up for a challenge. It was good, it came out okay.”
While there are some obvious challenges fighting in Russia, with the travel and time zones, Sowma doesn’t seem too concerned. “There’s a big time difference, but other than that, I don’t think it’s so much of a big deal actually,” he said this week. As for dealing with the crowd, which will no doubt be firmly in Minakov’s corner, he doesn’t see that as an issue either.
“I don’t think so. Usually I try to ignore the crowd as much as I can anyway, zone out, so that should work out just fine.”
Where does he believe he has the advantage over the decorated former champ, who has only been defeated by Cheick Kongo to this point? Speed, said Soma. “I believe I’m a little faster than him,” he stated, adding that he’ll “just try to use my speed advantage to the best of my abilities.”
Watch the full Bellator 269 media day appearance from Said Sowma above. The event takes place this Saturday, October 23 at the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia. More coverage can be found below.