Last October, heavyweight Chase Gormley picked up his second straight split-decision win, when he defeated Bobby Brents at Bellator 162. While a win is nothing to scoff at, Gormley admits it wasn’t his best performance and that changes were needed afterwards.
“I got the win, which is the most important thing, but I fought a little defensive,” Gormley told MMAWeekly.com. “I kind of made some adjustments to my style because they changed the rules, so I’ve really got to go in there and hit my power shots (to show damage) and make those count.
“My coach even said that last fight could have gone either way; but I think I won the second and third round. I think I kind of let him hit me more than I should have. I wasn’t moving around as good as I should have. If I get hit like that in my next fight, it’s going to be a bad night for me.”
Gormley (14-5) will look to pick up a finish in his next fight, when he takes on veteran Sergei Kharitonov (23-6) in a main card heavyweight bout at Bellator 175 in Rosemont, Illinois, on Friday.
“It’s an exciting fight because he’s a big name, and when Bellator decides to give out the heavyweight title, I definitely want to be in that mix, and a finish against Sergei puts me in that category,” said Gormley.
“It’s going to be a tough fight, but I think if I go out there and push the pace in the first round and try to knock him out, I should have success. I am prepared to go the distance, but I would like to knock him out and make a statement and get myself where I’ve trying to get to – the Bellator title situation.”
With Kharitonov coming off a TKO loss to Javy Ayala last November, and having accumulated quite a bit of wear and tear over the course of nearly 30 fights and 17 years in MMA, Gormley believes he could use that to his advantage on Friday.
“I think he’s coming back a little too soon from that last fight,” Gormley said. “If I sit back and just relax, it’s going to be a tough fight for me, so I’ve got to push the pace and try to catch him before he gets into a rhythm and makes it a tougher fight.”
With the possibility of picking up his third win in four Bellator fights with a victory over Kharitonov, Gormley feels he’ll make a case for himself for heavyweight title contention in 2017.
“Bellator decides all of that,” said Gormley. “There’s a lot of tough guys (in the heavyweight division). I’ll say my last two fights aren’t the greatest, but a win over Sergei puts me on that trajectory to be where I want to be. If I want to be the champion I’ve got to fight everyone anyway.”