Following the cancellation of his scheduled Bellator 188 bout against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire last November, featherweight Daniel Weichel has been on the sidelines, waiting for an opportunity to fight.
While not one to lose motivation easily, Weichel admits that having to wait eight months to finally get the bout to happen has not been a simple task.
“It’s definitely not the easiest part of being a fighter when you can’t stay active,” Weichel told MMAWeekly.com. “I would have loved to have stayed more active that year and the last couple years. I wanted to fight more than two times. I wanted to fight three or four times if possible.
“At some point I had a (fight) date, but (otherwise) I was just waiting. It was a difficult situation for me; waiting for a date, waiting to see what would happen; it was a difficult time of my year.”
Thankfully for Weichel there was enough going on at his gym that he was able to stay active during his time off and not worry about getting rusty.
“I stay really active all the time,” said Weichel. “I have great passion for the sport. Most of the time, five or six days, I train, even though I don’t have a fight coming up.
“We have a big competition team at MMA Spirit, so there’s always one of my friends fighting, and I will help him get ready or prepare for a fight.”
At Bellator 203 in Rome, Italy, Weichel (39-9) will finally get to face Freire (26-4) for the Bellator featherweight championship in a bout that was cancelled last November.
“That’s one thing about the cancellation that was a positive thing was that I got more time to prepare for it,” said Weichel. “I think I’ve improved in all parts of the game. I feel very confident going against Pitbull and I really feel that I’m sharp and I’ll be able to do my game plan over there.
“Basically, I focus a lot on myself and my skillset and not too much (Freire). Of course, I studied him and we analyzed him as a team with my trainers, but after a while it’s only about your own skills and what you need to do to get your game going.”
While being active is the main objective for Weichel, to finally claim the championship he’s chased for the last four years would be a great step forward for him.
“I always want to fight the best fighters on the planet and I want to fight many times,” said Weichel. “I want to stay a busy fighter while fighting the best in the world – that’s the main goal.
“But it also plays a big role to become the Bellator champion and bring this belt to Germany. It definitely means a lot to me to become Bellator champion.”