Friday night on Spike TV, Bellator 137 goes down featuring a main event title fight between middleweight champion Brandon Halsey and Kendall Grove.
Ahead of his bout with Halsey (who missed weight on Thursday and will be stripped of his title whether he wins or not) the TUF winner and former UFC fighter spoke with BJPENN.COM’s Jonathan Kirschner about life after UFC, his training and why he believes he will defeat Halsey and become the new Bellator middleweight champion.
During his most recent fight in the UFC, a win against CB Dollaway, middleweight Michael Bisping had Grove in his corner. Grove talked about the advantages of cornering his teammate during a a big win just weeks before his scheduled title fight.
“Oh yeah, definitely. It helps out a lot,” admitted Grove, “On top of that he took a week off, came back for my last hard week and he’ll be there in my corner. He was there in my last fight and that’s one thing I’m thinking, out of my whole career, I’ve been in some great camps but I just feel like this last two years-year and a half have been good just because I’m around great people who don’t want anything from me except to see me succeed. I’m just in a happy place, training, fighting and at home, in my personal life.”
The UFC is widely considered the top MMA promotion. So, for a fighter to get there and then eventually be cut, it could have a negative effect on the fighter emotionally and mentally. Grove talked about being let go and said, sure it was hard to swallow, but ultimately it’s just like spilt milk.
“For me, it wasn’t the end of the world getting let go from the UFC,” said Grove, “Yeah it sucked, cause you’re in the best organization for what you do and I would be lying to you if it didn’t hurt, but I lost two in a row, two decision losses. I was confused at first because there’s guys that get knocked out four times in a row and they’re still there, but at the end of the day it’s not my company. I always say spilt milk. There’s no use crying over it, just wipe it up and pour another glass.”
He added, “Maybe I was thinking, ‘ah, fu*k it, call it quits,’ but once I started training again I was like no fu*k that, I’m going to make a run for it.”
That run has paid off and led him to a title shot in Bellator. His opponent, Halsey, is coming into the fight undefeated at 8-o. Halsey is predominately a wrestler and Grove believes that he will try to do the same thing he does in all his fights, which is get a takedown and keep you down.
“That’s his biggest threat, is his wrestling and I think he’s gonna want to take it to the mat quick. Obviously, all his fight have been that way. He has terrible stand up but once he gets a hold of you he is strong as hell. The one good thing I’ve got against him is he’s looking past me man, he’s cocky. He thinks he’s going to run right through me, steam right through me, I pose no threat to him, so, I hope he thinks that the night of the fight and it will be an easy night for me then.”
Grove just doesn’t think Halsey has anything new to bring to the table. The veteran, Grove, has been in their with big names in the sport and has won fights against people nobody gave him a chance against. Grove said he’s been the underdog his whole career, from The Ultimate Fighter to this title fight, he doesn’t think anyone has given him much of a chance, but even with that, he says he’s beaten those tough guys before and he can do it again.
“He believes in his sh*t, but a lot of people believe in their shi*t and I’ve stopped them in their tracks before.”
“What is this as*hole going to do that I haven’t seen or been through. I’ve been knocked out unconscious, I’ve been choked out unconscious, I’ve been controlled.”
The Hawaiian fighter is tired of Halsey’s trash talk and bravado and can’t wait to get in the cage with him so he can show the world why they should stop betting against him. Grove’s final message to Halsey, and anyone who is writing him off for that matter?
“I’m going to prove you wrong motherfuc*ker.”
Bellator 137 takes place Friday night, with the main card starting at 9 p.m. ET on Spike and the prelims airing on spike.com at 7 p.m. ET.
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