Neiman Gracie plans on having a big year in 2022, which includes fighting for the welterweight title.
Bellator 274 is a major event for the organization this weekend, as it sees Bellator’s first non-title five-round main event cap off the show. Gracie vs. Logan Storley will take part in that historic first in what could also be a pivotal fight for the division.
Gracie (11-2) is coming off the first TKO win of his career when he finished Mark Lemminger with elbows and punches last September at Bellator 266. Prior to that, all nine of his wins came via submission.
The TKO win was a feather in the Brazilian’s cap as he proved to everyone that he is more than just a submission artist.
“I’m very proud of that performance. I showed my improvements after my last loss and showed that I am constantly evolving as a mixed martial artist. I think everyone thought that I was one dimensional with my jiu-jitsu; hopefully, people saw with my last performance that I keep getting better,” Gracie told Cageside Press in an exclusive interview. “I want to show these guys that I have multiple weapons.”
Gracie faces Logan Storley in the main event, and he sees it as a great honor to be the first Bellator fighter to compete in a five-round non-title main event.
“It’s great, man. It is a real honor for me. The first five-round main event, and they chose me. I will make sure to make the most of my opportunity,” Gracie said. “Storley is a great wrestler, and I do very well against wrestlers. I actually love fighting wrestlers. It is a great fight for the fans. I don’t know how or when, but I will finish him before the fight ends. Maybe I will get another knockout; you never know.”
Gracie feels that the five-round main event is just practice for him because he feels like he will fight for the title later this year. He fought Rory MacDonald for the welterweight championship back in 2019 but lost a unanimous decision. The 33-year old Brazilian says after this weekend, he will be next, and he will most likely be fighting Yaroslav Amosov.
“I will be fighting for the title in 2022. After this fight, if I’m able to finish the fight the way I want to, I think I will be fighting for the title next. I cannot wait,” Gracie said.
“I believe Yaroslav Amosov will beat Michael [Page] when they fight. Amosov will be too much for MVP, and he will take him down for five rounds. MVP can definitely finish the fight at any point, but the wrestling will be the difference. I think me and Amosov is a great fun fight, but first I must get by Logan Storley or else nothing will happen.”
Neiman Gracie faces Logan Storley this Saturday at Bellator 264. The main card will be broadcast on Showtime and kicks off at 6 p.m PST/9 p.m. EST