As he had done in his previous two years in Bellator, middleweight John Salter was able to win all his bouts in 2017 and raise his personal winning streak to seven victories in a row.
Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Salter was able to pick up his third and fourth straight first round finish in his two wins in 2017.
“I fought Kendall (Grove) in July and that fight went well,” Salter told MMAWeekly.com. “He was a tough opponent, but I managed to get him out of there in the first round.
“Then I went to Israel to fight over there (against Jason Radcliffe). In that fight I know a lot of people expected me to steamroll him, but he was nobody to take lightly. It was good to get some quick wins in there.”
John Salter’s Bellator MMA Highlight Reel
(Video courtesy of BellatorMMA)
Though he is a veteran of nearly 10 years with close to 20 fights under his belt, Salter admits there are parts of his career that he’s still striving to solidify.
“I think one of the big things right now is what’s going on in the gym,” said Salter. “I still learning to get in the best possible shape without getting injured, and I think every camp I learn more about it.
“I think one of the hardest things to do is get through a camp and not get injured. So learning how to do that is one of the biggest things I’ve picked up over time.”
John Salter Hoping to Cement Title Shot at Bellator 198
At Bellator 198 on Saturday in Rosemont, Ill., Salter (15-3) will look to continue his hot streak when he takes on Rafael Lovato Jr. (7-0) in a main card 185-pound bout.
“I was in the corner when he fought (Chris) Honeycutt and got to see he can strike too,” Salter said of Lovato. “He’s a well-rounded fighter. He’s got good stand-up and isn’t afraid to mix it up and make it dangerous there.
“I’ve got to keep it guessing, and when we’re on the ground, keep something in his face and keep hitting him so he doesn’t get comfortable in his Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve got to give him something he doesn’t run into because guys are so afraid to go to the ground with him.”
While Salter feels he’s had the kind of success in Bellator that could have already earned him a middleweight title shot, a win over Lovato could solidify his position as the top contender. If not, Salter is content to continue to keep racking up wins until he gets his shot.
“If I get another win here, I don’t think there’s any question that I’m the number one contender and that I’ve earned it,” said Salter. “But I’m not going to complain. As long as I’m getting fights and am staying busy I’m happy.”