After closing out 2016 on a five-fight winning streak, Bellator middleweight John Salter hasn’t been able to building off that momentum in MMA in 2017.
Over the course of this year, Salter has had multiple fights fall through for reasons not entirely known to him, and thus has only managed to get in one MMA fight so far.
“I got the call to fight (Alexander) Shlemenko in January, but then I fought he needed more time, then he ended up taking a fight in Russia,” Salter told MMAWeekly.com. “Then I was supposed to fight Hisaki Kato, but there was a legal issue and we couldn’t fight. Then I got another date for Shlemenko, but he ended up taking another fight in Russia.
“I went and did the ADCC west coast trials and qualified for the world championships. Then I got the fight lined up for Kendall (Grove). I’d been in four training camps, but only had one fight come through.”
In his one MMA fight this year against Grove in July, Salter was able to overcome a near disastrous mistake to get the fight where he wanted it and pick up a first round submission victory.
“I was a little mad at myself,” said Salter. “I let one of his head kicks almost get through. I was feeling too confident. I felt like I was a lot faster than him and put my hands down, and almost got in trouble there, but I was able to get under it and make him miss. I was able to get the takedown, get him in a submission and finish him like I wanted to.”
Salter (14-3) now turns his attention towards facing Jason Radcliffe (12-4) in a main card 185-pound bout at Bellator 188 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“He’s long, is a very good Muay Thai fighter, so I’ve got to stay away from his power,” Salter said of Radcliffe. “That’s what he’s good at: he throws heavy shots and has won a lot of fights early in the first round.
“He hasn’t fought a lot of guys with winning records. He’s been knocked out a few times, so he’s shown some problems there with his chin, so if that’s something I can find, I should be okay.”
When it comes to 2018, Salter is going to take opportunities as they come and see where they lead him.
“I’m trying to plan stuff out and all this, but at the end of the day it’s God’s plan and not mine,” said Salter. “I’m going to take this fight, go out there get this win, then enjoy Israel with my wife afterwards and see what Bellator offers me after that and we’ll go from there.”