Former Bellator light heavyweight tournament finalist Rich Hale (19-4) will be making his Bellator heavyweight debut tomorrow night in the quarterfinals of this seasons tournament.
He was scheduled to be a participant in the Summer Series light heavyweight tournament, but had health issues as he was attempting to make weight for the tournament.
During this week’s “The MMA Report Podcast,” Hale talked about what his body went through when he was attempting to make weight for the light heavyweight tournament.
“I walked around 240-250 and I was keeping my weight a lot lower for the entire year after the last tournament.” Hale said. “Was down around 230 and that morning of that cut was only from 212 but as much work as I put in and every thing else. The muscle density and mass was to significant to try to cut any further. I quit sweating and I was 2.2 pounds off, so I tried everything in my power. I had some heavy cramping, blurred vision, lost my hearing, throwing up and it was just bad news.”
After that incident, Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney talked to Hale and the fighter decided it was time to move up to the heavyweight division. He walks around at 240 pounds currently and does not have any plans to add on any muscle to his body, since he is now fighting in the heavyweight division.
“I am not interested at all in adding on muscle at all what so ever,” he said. “The nice part about heavyweight is I go into training every since day and bust my ass, be where I need to be and have my skill set were it needs to be.”
His opponent tomorrow night in the heavyweight tournament quarterfinals will be Mike Wessel (12-4), who is a former UFC fighter and who has won four of his last five fights. Wessel has said that he plans to knockout Hale on Friday night. When Hale was asked about the statement of his opponent, he said everyone has dreams.
“We all have hopes and dreams and some of us dream bigger than life, which is something I can not hate someone for.”
Wessel is coming off a split decision victory in his Bellator debut against Ryan Martinez, which Hale believe is the toughest opponent he has faced in his career. Every fighter that walks into the cage believes that they can knockout their opponent, but Hale thinks his opponent may have put more pressure on himself.
“I think he has a large situation to live up to with what he had to say. What man doesn’t think he is getting in their to knock his opponent out. That is what the audience wants to see and what the fans want to see. I think he may have just put a little to much pressure on himself for this one.”