It had been well over a decade since Yancy Medeiros had last competed at home in Hawaii by the time Bellator 279 rolled around on Saturday night.
August 2009, in fact, was the last time Medeiros (16-8, 1NC) had fought in his home state. And being honest, he wasn’t even supposed to be on Saturday’s card.
The former UFC star, on a four-fight skid prior to Saturday night, was essentially between jobs — between promotions anyway. But he campaigned to join the event, Bellator’s first Hawaiian show since 2019, and with some extra media attention, his drive to join Bellator’s latest trip to Honolulu paid off.
After a decision victory against Emmanuel Sanchez in a lightweight scrap that opened up the main card, Medeiros showed his gratitude for the opportunity.
“Fight week was such a blessing for me to be at home. It really made me understand why I love Hawaii so much. I always put it in my heart and I take it everywhere, but this week was surreal for me, because I got to represent,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “Just thank you, Bellator for letting me do this for Hawaii. I really appreciate this. Thank you Scott [Coker, Bellator President]. All the Bellator members. I hope to give you guys a show again.”
Hopefully he gets that chance. Ahead of the fight, Medeiros told Cageside Press that the bout was a one-fight deal, but as a businessman and entertainer, he was hoping for more if all went well. It obviously did, with Medeiros vs. Sanchez firing up the crowd at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena.
Asked if he thought the performance was enough for Bellator to bring him back, Medeiros replied “I hope so. I have to get a nice talk with Scott, and see where we can go from there. Other than that, my main priority was fighting, giving back to everyone, the fans. I always look for a finish, and I’m not happy with my performance, but I’m definitely happy that I can give back to them.”
“We talk business when we talk business. For now, I’m just going to keep giving back, and whoever picks me up [we’ll go] from there,” Medeiros continued. “This Aloha will continue, and I’m going to keep giving a show.”
Watch the full Bellator 279 post-fight press conference with Yancy Medeiros above. More coverage can be found below.