After five fights in Bellator, Jaylon Bates wants to let everyone know he is the best bantamweight on the planet.
Bates (5-0) returns to the Bellator cage for his second fight of 2022 this Friday in Tacoma, Washington. There, he welcomes hometown fighter Mark Coates to the organization.
“New Breed” feels like now that he has his footing under him and has established himself a little bit in the division that he wants everyone to know he is the best bantamweight in the world.
“I’m not worried about being undefeated, I’m not worried about winning, because I know, in my heart of hearts, and my mindset, and my soul, and my spirit, I’m the best 135err in the world. I don’t say that often because I keep it inside. But I think it’s about time to let everyone know who I am, who Jaylon Bates is,” Bates told Cageside Press recently. “And the crowd is gonna see that when I go in there, and they’re shouting his name. And then the crowd goes silent because he’s either submitted or he’s knocked out. Or he loses by a decision. You know, God has his own plan. I have a plan. But that’s my aim is to go in there and finish it.”
Bates doesn’t mind playing the bad guy and getting booed; it’s just part of the job.
“I like going to someone else’s home turf. I love that. I love it when it’s on someone else’s turf, and you get to win. Because that feeling of being like, ‘I’m on your turf, you’re the hometown boy, the crowds gonna be cheering your name, the crowds gonna be wanting you to win.’ And that’s where the pressure comes in,” Bates said. “As long as [the crowd] don’t go piss and sh*t on me, I’m all for it man.”
The 25-year-old wants to submit his opponent to prove he is the better grappler.
“I want to take him down and submit him. He said he’s a higher belt than me. I think it’s bullshit. I don’t give a f*ck about being a higher belt,” Bates said. “You know, when I punch you in the face, throw these elbows on you, and I swing my body weight around. We’re going to see how well your jujitsu game and your grappling game are.”
“The thing is, like everybody, I’m coming to hurt you. I don’t think until you’re in there with me, people don’t realize how strong I am. Until you’re in there with me, you don’t realize how hard I can actually hit and how elusive my striking is. Until you’re in there with me, you don’t realize how good my grappling is. So, if he’s judging me off my last fight, if he’s judging me on my four fights before that, he’s got another thing coming because I’m getting better.”
Watch the rest of our interview with bantamweight Jaylon Bates above. Jaylon Bates vs. Mark Coates goes down on the Bellator 283 prelims free on YouTube.