Sioux Falls, SD — Making it two wins in a row with a decision victory against Jaylon Bates at Bellator 298 on Friday, former TUF: Latin America 2 winner Enrique Barzola gave plenty of credit to the team behind him.
Barzola (20-7-2) has been working with AKA, and a couple of familiar fighters in particular, who share a very famous last name: Nurmagomedov.
“I have the best team in the world. Khabib Nurmagomedov,” said Barzola following the fight, who noted he also has “American wrestling. The reason I believe in my team for grappling, for MMA, for takedowns, or whatever. I’m ready for whatever angle comes towards me. I have the best team in the world. Best wrestling, best striking, best jiu-jitsu. I’m just ready for all of it.”
Asked about Khabib’s cousin Umar, Barzola said that “I have been sparring with him, with Umar Nurmagomedov. Kasum [Kasumov], he already won today.” Umar Nurmagomedov may have been forced out of his own fight with Cory Sandhagen recently, but Barzola credited him for contributing to his own success. “I feel very good. I feel very confident for this, in the fight. [They’re] the reason I won today.”
As for Jaylon Bates, his opponent gave him one shock. “I always think this guy was very weak, but no, he surprised me. He’s very tough. He’s so tough,” said Barzola. “He’s very long, he’s got conditioning. He’s like a young lion. I think he has more opportunities for the next fight.” But, noted Barzola, “I have a lot of experience.”
With back-to-back wins over Erik Perez and Bates, Barzola now has his sights set on gold. “Everyone has one opportunity for the title. I want it. I want this opportunity for the title. Bellator, give me this opportunity, please.”
Watch the full Bellator 298 post-fight press conference with Enrique Barzola above.