According to Vassell, it initially didn’t appear as if he’d miss the fight, but when things took a turn for the worse, forcing his removal from a fight for the first time in Bellator.
“What happened was me and one of my teammates clashed heads while we were sparring,” Vassell told MMAWeekly.com. “It was over the eye. I got stitches, and they said I’d be fine, so I thought I’d keep training when I got back to England, but that wasn’t the case. It actually got infected, so I had to drop off the fight.
“I came back to America and I trained, but I didn’t do any striking or any live grappling, so I was just drilling and going back over what I was doing for July. I worked on old stuff and added some new stuff into my game.”
Prior to being forced off his originally scheduled bout with Carmont, Vassell was coming off what he views as his career-defining unanimous decision victory over Emanuel Newton at Bellator 149 in February.
“That was the biggest of my career right now,” said Vassell. “I’ve said it a million times, I felt I should have won the first fight (in 2014), and in my head I knew I could beat him, so to get that win was something I’d been working towards. It was even better to get that in after all that from the first fight.”
Vassell (17-5) will finally get his bout with Carmont (25-11) in a main card 205-pound bout at Bellator 165 in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday.
“I’ve just got to fight my fight and do what I always do – and that’s go in there and beat my opponent up. I’ve got to fight my fight and be first,” Vassell said. “I’m going out there to finish the fight.
“Me winning by just coasting or by decision is not me. I wouldn’t be happy to win a fight like that. I hope I make a statement and I get a finish.”
For Vassell the next step is simple: Claim the Bellator light-heavyweight championship.
“I want that title fight,” said Vassell. “That’s what I want next.”