At his title fight against Bellator light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton back in October, there were a handful of times where British contender Linton Vassell was inches away from submitting Newton. The champion, however, was able to slip out or defend the early onslaught and made Vassell tap in the 5th round.

Vassell will now try to climb the ladder again, starting with longtime MMA veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudju at Bellator 134 on Feb. 27 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

“(I improved) all over, obviously on some of the stuff he (Newton) was getting out of, so I just brushed up a little bit on my technique,” Vassell said when talking to The MMA Corner about what he needed to improve upon from his last fight.

“I probably pushed the pace a bit too much. Newton had good cardio himself, but I fought a three-round fight instead of a five-round fight,” Vassell said.

While his fellow countryman Liam McGeary has been preparing for a five-round title fight against Newton, which is taking place on the aptly-subtitled “British Invasion” car, Vassell will be back to the three-round non-title format against Sokoudju.

Vassell already sees areas of Sokoudju’s game that he’ll be able to exploit, “definitely the ground. I just think I’m going to finish it by TKO or submission.”

“He comes out explosive, I’d say reckless and that’s what is going to set me up. I’ll take him down or counter,” said Vassell. “Weather the storm and the time will come where I’ll be going for the finish. The time will come.”

Besides Vassell and McGeary representing the Union Jack at Bellator 134, fellow Brits Paul Daley and Michael Page are also featured on the main card, which begins 9:00 p.m. EST on Spike TV.

“All of us are really hyped for this,” Vassell said. “We are thinking we’ll be getting a clean sweep if we want.”

About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.