Sporting back-to-back wins heading into Friday’s Bellator 75 in Hammond, Ind., it’s likely people would say Richard Hale got back on track with the first of those wins, but in truth he feels it started with the loss proceeding them.
“It actually created momentum,” said Hale. “People look at the 18-second knockout against Carlos (Flores) as the start of the momentum, but if you really look at it, the momentum started with the loss to Christian (M’Pumbu).
“It stoked a fire inside me and made me make changes to make sure that never happens again.”
In his two recent wins, Hale has spent less than a minute total time in the cage, knocking out both of his opponents. While a lot of fighters gauge where their game is at during fights, for Hale, the fight is the payoff to the real test that comes before it.
“The fight is the opportunity to display your skills. So for me, I learned a lot (in these two wins), because if you’re able to work that hard and push that hard in training, you’re able to put on those kinds of opponents,” he said. “Everything comes from the training and not so much the fight.”
Hale feels confident that he can keep the knockouts coming when he faces Mike Wessel as part of Bellator’s latest heavyweight tournament on Friday night.
“I feel very advantageous in every aspect against Wessel, to be honest,” said Hale. “I feel I have a great reach advantage, there’s a skillset advantage, on the ground, striking, and I just don’t see where he’s going to take me that I’ve not been before or not have learned to be better at.
“This is not going to the judges, I can guarantee that.”
After failing to make weight against Josh Burns and not be a part of Bellator’s light heavyweight tournament, Hale feels grateful to get an opportunity to salvage his year as a heavyweight.
“I wanted to fight and stay more active and (what happened against Burns) was not what I wanted when signing with a bigger organization – which is not their fault – and thankfully I was able to get another opportunity from Bellator by getting into the heavyweight tournament and keep things rolling and get my four fights in this year,” said Hale. “It definitely just picks everything back up and allows me to build momentum.
“(Wessel) says he’s going to knock me out, and he can shoot for that because it’s going to give me a better opportunity to put him to sleep. It’s an awesome opportunity to help me possibly become the heavyweight champion in Bellator in 2012.”
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(Photo courtesy of Bellator.com)