In just his second fight as a welterweight, Goiti Yamauchi secured the biggest win of his career at Bellator 284 on Friday.
He also became the first man to finish fellow Brazilian Neiman Gracie in a fight, care of a perfectly placed uppercut.
“It feels amazing. It’s a product of hard work, courage, and a lot of dedication, not just for this camp but for my entire life,” Yamauchi (28-5) said following the fight. “I’ve been working to have this moment, and the moment has become— I consider this the beginning of an era, the beginning of my era, the beginning of the best time of my life.”
“All I can say is thanks for everybody that came to watch and everybody that helped me to be here,” he added.
Much like Gracie’s outing against Logan Storley, the fight with Yamauchi played out entirely on the feet. “That fight was one of the only fights that I studied, because I knew that he wouldn’t change that much from that fight,” Yamauchi revealed. “And they made a hell of a fight, it was a hell of a battle, two warriors, two absolute warriors. I watched the fight, and I could see I could make Neiman make some mistakes and exploit that, and that’s what I did.”
Ahead of Yamauchi in the 170lb weight class are fighters like Jason Jackson, interim champ Logan Storley, and champ Yaroslav Amosov, who stepped away from fighting to defend his native Ukraine from Russian attack.
“I just want to fight one of these guys. It would be amazing to fight Storley,” Yamauchi said Friday. “I love his style, he’s a hell of a fighter, a very good grappler. It looks like he has a lot of a gas tank, he likes to go to war. It’s the kind of fight that I like, so it will be a good match-up, it would be an honor for me to compete against the champ, Storley.”
Watch the full Bellator 284 post-fight press scrum with Goiti Yamauchi above.