Rich Hale is one of the four men that will be in the Bellator Summer Series Heavyweight Tournament as he will face Vinicius “Spartan” Queiroz in the opening round at Bellator 96 on June 19th.
This will be the third time that Hale has been in a Bellator tournament as he was a finalist in the season four light heavyweight tournament and season seven heavyweight tournament.
With being in two previous Bellator tournaments, he had learned what it takes and feels his experience will be a vital part to success.
“There is a lot to take in from the previous tournament,” Hale said on The MMA Report Live. “Obviously, experience alone is a vital part to success and everything else. Third time is the charm hopefully. The biggest thing going into this one is already seeing Vinicius fight a couple of times. Just having that experience to be able to oversee how things are done and everything else is going to be very vital to the success of the tournament.”
Hale and Queiroz were both in the season seven heavyweight tournament and they were both defeated by Alexander Volkov, who is the current Bellator heavyweight champion. Queiroz is 1-1 in Bellator with his one victory coming by submission but he entered Bellator known as a striker.
Hale is not sure what the gameplan of Queiroz will be since he could not take the power of Volkov and feels it’s a dangerous game for Queiroz to take the fight to the ground.
“I think he is in a very dangerous world right now Vinicius being that what is going to be his best gameplan. Is he going to stand there with me and think if he could not take the power of Alexander Volkov, does he really think its going to be in his favor to stand on the feet with me.”
“I think it’s dangerous game for Vinicius if he really wants to go to the ground. He had an outstanding armbar that was sort of thrown out of desperation when he went against Mark Holata in the first round of that tournament so we got to see a little bit of his submission skills. Going into the second round, we really didn’t get to see to much of his stand up. He came in as a guy that was supposed to be known as a striker. Throws very wild punches for a taller guy with such a reach and I think it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of gameplan he comes out with.”
Hale admitted that he has not watched his fight against Volkov and will not until he earns a rematch with him. However, his sights are set on Queiroz and can not look past anyone in this tournament.
“I got my eyes on Vinicius first obviously. If I do not get past this first round there is never going to be a rematch against Volkov. So first things first, focus on Vinicius.”