Linton Vassell fine with flying under the radar heading into tonight’s Bellator 130

Nearly a year after his promotional debut, Linton Vassell will contend for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Title against champion Emanuel Newton tonight at Bellator 130.Linton Vassell

Vassell’s road to the title shot kicked off with a unanimous decision win over Matt Jones last November and then was followed by a pair of submission victories over Trevor Carlson and Virgil Zwicker.

The English fighter has broken the stereotypical mold of fighters from England by finding more of his success with his grappling game rather than his stand-up.

“I can’t really explain why most of the UK fighters are known as strikers. I’ve always watched pro-wrestling and enjoyed that kind of fighting,” said Vassell. “I’ve just excelled at grappling more than anything else. I still work on my striking and I feel comfortable on the feet, but every fight I’ve won to this day has gone to the ground, and I’ve been dominant.”

Despite riding a 9 fight winning streak, Vassell heads into the fight as a legitimate underdog, but that’s a role that Vassell is comfortable being in. Regardless, he’ll look to change that with a championship win tonight.

“No one knows who I am in America. No one really knows who I am in the UK either. But I’m fine with flying under the radar,” said Vassell. “When I do show up and people see what I can do, then they’ll be talking about me. And yes, of course this fight will be the end of that.”

As far as how he believes he matches up with Emanuel Newton, Vassell respects the unorthodox approach that Newton possess, but the 31 year-old believes he has an advantage in several aspects of the bout.

“I feel I have the height, the range, the size and even the skills to beat him. I’m confident in every aspect this fight could go into,” said Vassell. “I’m more than ready for this fight, I’m more than confident, and I’m more than ready to beat him.”

Not only does Vassell expect to be a Bellator champ by the end of the night, he also believes that he’ll do it in impressive fashion and establish his name as a mixed martial artist.

“The fans should expect to see someone getting beat up, and it ain’t going to be me. This is a show – I’ll make it exciting because I finish fights, so this will be one to watch,” said Vassell. “For the fans who don’t know me? Just watch Bellator 130. You’ll know who I am after that.”