After 18 months out of action, Ilais Bulaid returned at Bellator 270 and got a full three rounds in. And while the featherweight felt his striking might have been a bit rusty, the kickboxer turned mixed martial artist said he was getting more comfortable in the grappling department.
“This is the first time I really grappled in the cage, so I’m happy,” he told media outlets in attendance and online, speaking backstage at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. The Dutch fighter won a split decision over Georges Sasu to open up the Bellator 270 main card.
“I’m getting more comfortable grappling. I’ve been investing a lot of time grappling in the gym, especially this last 18 months,” Bulaid (3-0) explained. “So I’m getting used to it more and more. I jumped from one of the best kickboxers, into professional MMA. So no amateur fights, and straight into Bellator. This is my third fight, third win. So I’m happy with that, but still there’s a lot of progress to gain.”
The former Enfusion world champion kickboxer added that while he was happy with his performance “I’ll be back in two or three months and improve again. I want to be there next month I think. So that’s what I’m going ask for.”
“I want to get some experience and then I’m going to f*ck all these top 15 fighters,” he added.
The only drawback from Friday’s performance was potentially a wonky scorecard from one dissenting judge. There were a few of those throughout the night in Dublin, though the outcome wasn’t impacted in Bulaid’s case.
“Yeah. I didn’t pay close attention to that but I heard one of the judges gave 29-28 to my opponent, and I was sure I won the first two rounds,” Bulaid told Cageside Press. “The third round because of the control time, he had it. But interesting scorecards, but still I didn’t have any doubt that I won this fight.”
Watch the full Bellator 270 post-fight press scrum with Ilias Bulaid above. More coverage from the event can be found below.