The co-main event of Saturday’s Valor Fights 31 will be a vacant welterweight title bout as Ultimate Fighter 21 alum Felipe Portela will look for his second straight win as he will face Jesse Grun.
Portela (9-2) is coming off a decision win in September against Hugo Matheus at Fight Time 27 and that was the first fight for him since completing the filming of The Ultimate Fighter 21. He was a member of the Blackzilians during that season, which stated on yesterday’s edition of The MMA Report Podcast that doing the reality show was the toughest thing he has done in mixed martial arts to this point in his career.
“The experience that I had there, it’s unbelievable,” Portela said. “Living with the guy that you know you are going to fight — was the craziest experience I have ever be. It was very good. Now I feel that The Ultimate Fighter gave me so much strength. Mental strength. I feel so ready to fight anybody.”
On Saturday night, he will meet a fighter that will be stepping into the cage for the fifth time in his professional career. Grun (3-1) has won back to back fights and both of those wins have come by submission. All of his victories have come by stoppage, but Portela feels that he will be the fighter winning by stoppage in this fight.
“I saw a couple of videos of him,” Portela explained. “I could not see too much. I believe he is going to come with everything he’s got. It’s a big opportunity for him. I was telling my manager that I do not like to fight people who have like three or four fights because they are more opportunities. They are going to come hungry to beat me. But I don’t think he is going to give me much problems. I believe I am better striker. I am better wrestling. Better on the ground. I am a black belt in jiu-jitsu. I believe I am going to take care of him pretty quickly in the first round.”
Check out Portela’s complete interview from The MMA Report Podcast below.