After picking up a win in his last fight of 2018, welterweight David Rickels was looking to build some momentum with a victory in his first bout of 2019 when he faced AJ Mathews at Bellator 219 in March.
Halfway through the second round it became clear that Mathews could not continue due to injury. Thus, Rickles picked up a TKO win for his first back-to-back victories since 2017.
“It was good to get a couple (wins) in a row,” Rickels told MMAWeekly.com. “Beating AJ, it’s a fight that was talked about for a long time and finally got to happen. It played out kind of how I expected; a lot of Muay Thai back and forth until somebody lost.”
Twelve years and nearly 30 fights into his career, Rickels still has a desire for fighting that he’s carrying with him through his 2019 campaign.
“One of the things about fighting is, I am a veteran, I have the most fights in Bellator and this and that, but I’m still very passionate about finding my place amongst the greats in Bellator and kind of solidifying that,” Rickels told MMAWeekly.com.
“The training has been hard, of course, we always train hard, but I’ve been pushing it and have been good on my diet and doing my best to get this (upcoming) win.”
This Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn., Rickels (21-5) will seek to pick up his third win in a row when he faces Yaroslav Amosov (21-0) in a Bellator 225 main card 175-pound catchweight bout.
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“I feel like getting a 21-0 fighter and knocking them off and being the first to give them a loss is really important and has fired me up,” Rickels said of facing Amosov.
“He likes to slow the fight down with his grappling and force his will on you; make guys tired by carrying around his weight. He’s good at stuff like that. We’re preparing my gas tank for a really hard three-round fight. I think putting some volume on him and make him respect me early will be a pretty important thing.”
For Rickels, the main goal is to keep his winning ways going and see where it takes him to close out this year and carry him into 2020.
“The thing for me I’d really love to get a good little streak going here,” said Rickels. “Getting a third win would be really important to me.
“I could definitely fight before the year’s up. The big thing is making sure my body is healthy as well. I have to make sure I get through this fight in a healthy manner, and after that we can go from there.”