On Saturday night, Travis Wiuff and Attila Vegh will meet one another to decide the next title challenger for the Bellator light heavyweight title. It’s a story of two totally different fighters at completely different points in their careers.

For Vegh, it could be his coming out party. The Slovakian mixed a submission finish in between two split decisions in three appearances for Bellator. Although Vegh, thus far into his North American career, hasn’t looked like the top European prospect Bellator believed him to be, fans have to know there are good times ahead. After all, of Vegh’s 27 victories, 20 have come before the final bell.

The  main problem in Vegh’s career is that just as he begins to get a series of victories going, a loss always seems to spring up. A record of 27-4 is nothing to be ashamed of, but considering those losses have come on the European circuit, it’s tough to imagine Vegh getting enough momentum going in North America to become a credible title challenger.

Credibility is something Vegh’s opponent shouldn’t have an issue with.

Travis Wiuff has had over 80 professional MMA fights and is the walking definition of a MMA journeyman. He hasn’t held a title in any major MMA promotion and has fought a number of prominent names in the MMA community.

Guys like Keith Jardine, Jeff Monson, Ricco Rodriguez, Kazuyuki Fujita and Matt Horwich are just some of the guys who have added to Wiuff’s 68 professional victories. Of course, Wiuff has also lost to a handful of quality fighters, which furthers the stereotype of a journeyman MMA fighter.

Wiuff will have the chance to remove that label when he takes on Vegh in the Bellator light heavyweight tournament finals. A victory won’t result in a belt, but it will be about as close as Wiuff has ever come to accomplishing anything in a major MMA promotion.

Despite the journeyman’s many victories, only one of them will truly give Wiuff all the ammunition he needs in a title fight with Bellator champion Christian M’Pumbu. That particular victory is Wiuff’s unanimous decision victory over the champ in Wiuff’s Bellator debut last October.

That fight also happens to be the last time M’Pumbu was inside the cage, and cage rust could be a deciding factor as Wiuff is used to a very active schedule.

No matter who wins Saturday night’s showdown, both men are likely to have a long list of detractors prior to facing M’Pumbu. The light heavyweight division is one of Bellator’s weaker divisions and the 205-pound title has existed for barely over a year.

While winning a title would be a huge accomplishment for either Wiuff or Vegh, it won’t be the defining moment of either man’s legacy. That item will be reserved for whomever can carry the belt out of its early stages. Wiuff, Vegh and current champion M’Pumbu are all in a place to transform their careers into stardom in the Bellator cage.

We’ve seen guys like Hector Lombard and Eddie Alvarez become big names in the MMA world despite not competing in the Octagon. That possibility is ripe for the taking for both Wiuff and Vegh.

Winning the Bellator tournament and earning the title shot is the chance of a lifetime for a savvy vet like Wiuff or a guy in his prime like Vegh. It’s just a matter of who seizes the opportunity to change their career and legacy.

Photo: Travis Wiuff (Keith Mills/Sherdog)

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.