Wednesday, Oct 13, 2010
Grove and Konrad Ready to Battle for Bellator Championship
By FCF Staff Photo courtesy Bellator Fighting Championship
Neil Grove and Cole Konrad will meet tomorrow night in Kansas City to determine Bellator’s first ever, heavyweight champion, after going 2-0 to date in the promotion’s ongoing heavyweight tournament. Grove (10-2-1) advanced to the championship finals with stoppage wins over Eddie Sanchez and Alexey Oleinik, while the accomplished wrestler Konrad (6-0), worked his way to unanimous decision wins over Rogent Lloret and Damien Grabowski. (Pictured above- Grove (l) and Konrad)
In a press release sent out this week from the promotion, here is some of what Konrad and Grove had to say about their Bellator 32 bout, Thursday night.
Thoughts on each other…
Neil Grove: Cole is a good wrestler with an amazing college wrestling pedigree. I hope he brings his upmost best as I’m doing the same when it comes to my striking ability. I’m hitting and kicking much harder right now than ever before. I have also spent more time with my wrestling coaches for this fight with Cole.
Cole Konrad: I think Neil is going to try to start fast like he always does, and he’ll probably be looking to finish the fight early. I think that will be his only strategy. I just don’t see that happening for him. Any of his fights that have gone more than a couple of minutes, he’s been nothing shy of exhausted. So if I get him into the third and fourth rounds, he’s going to be in for a really long fight.
On their advantages...
Neil Grove: I see my ability to finish fights as an advantage against Cole. I also think my size and my overall level of fitness will be factors that will work to my advantage. I want to avoid letting him set the pace.
Cole Konrad: Obviously my wrestling will be an advantage I have over Neil, and I think my ground game is considerably better than his. That would be my biggest advantage, but outside of that, my overall training environment trumps his. I’m used to seeing big, strong, fast guys on a daily basis. I just have to avoid that big right hand of his, but that’s about it.
Use of elbows during this championship fight…
Neil Grove: I definitely think the use of elbows will come into play in this fight. Neither Cole or I were allowed to use them during our previous tournament fights, but I don’t think that will be the case on Thursday night.
Cole Konrad: I absolutely expect for elbows to be a factor in this fight. I expect for them to come into play a lot in my favor. The positions I maintain during my ground and pound work best with the use of elbows, and not having them has really held back my overall ground attack in the past, but it won’t in this fight.
Who the fight favors if it enters the 4th and 5th rounds…
Neil Grove: It definitely favors me, of course. it would mean that he was not able to finish the fight on the canvas. Once he realizes that he’s not going to be able to win the fight by taking me down, he will have no choice but to stand and trade punches with me.
Cole Konrad: It favors me. Like I said before, any time Neil has gone longer than two minutes he can barely keep his hands up high enough to throw a punch. I’m used to going the distance. Granted, I haven’t gone to a 4th or 5th round in my career, but 3rd, 4th, 5th.. it makes no difference. If you know how to compete when you’re tired, you know what you have to do.
To become the Bellator Heavyweight Champion…
Neil Grove: I deserve this! I have paved my destiny and I am going into this fight believing that I will become the new Bellator World Heavyweight Champion. Becoming the champion will be amazing. It will be just the start of a prosperous fighting career in the USA.
Cole Konrad: This fight against Neil will be the biggest fight of my career. Winning the championship would definitely be a big deal for me. I’ve been training hard for a long time now, and I would basically look at the title as a reward for all of the hard work I’ve put in. I want that belt. I don’t know if I have any jeans that the belt will fit through, but I’m sure we can work something out (laughs).
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 1:15 pm