Karl Amoussou can’t predict the future -- not exactly, anyway.
He doesn’t claim to know how he will end David Rickels’ evening in their welterweight semifinal matchup at Bellator 69 tonight. He only knows that he will be triumphant at the bout’s violent conclusion -- because the man known as “Psycho” considers himself to be a force of nature.
“I don't know if it will be a submission or a knockout in this fight with Rickels. The only thing I can say is that at the end of the fight he'll be lying in his own blood, asking himself if what just happened to him really happened,” Amoussou recently told Sherdog.com. “He already knows that a tornado is going to hit him, and he accepts it. There's nothing he can do to stop it. He's in its direct path.”
Amoussou demonstrated his brutal tendencies with a first-round submission of Chris Lozano at Bellator 63. The Haute Tension representative set the tone in that bout by blasting Lozano with a head kick that had the Ohioan bleeding profusely in the fight’s early moments. From there, it was just a matter of time before the Frenchman sealed the deal with a rear-naked choke.
“In my fight with Lozano, I sent the message that I’m the best Bellator fighter in this weight class. I also showed that I don't step in the cage to win a fight but to destroy my opponent,” Amoussou recalled. “This is what is going to happen to every single fighter Bellator puts in front of me. My fights are brutal, spectacular, bloody and violent, and the pressure I put on my opponent is not only physical but also mental.”
That same night that Amoussou dispatched Lozano, Rickels put forth an impressive showing of his own, knocking out “Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 alum Jordan Smith in just 22 seconds. It was the 10th consecutive victory for the 23-year-old Kansas native, who has finished all but two of his opponents since his professional career began in February 2010. Still, Amoussou doesn’t feel that “The Caveman” has done enough to earn his respect.
“I definitely wasn't impressed with Rickels in his fight against Jordan Smith. He has no power in his hands, and his ground game is medium. We are on two different levels, and I’m going to show that during this fight,” Amoussou said. “I don't care about Rickels. I don't respect him and don't even consider him as an opponent. He's only a step for me. I'll destroy him. I know it, and he knows it.”
The winner of the matchup between Amoussou and Rickels, which takes place at the L’Auberge Du Lac Casino in Lake Charles, La., will meet Bryan Baker in the 170-pound final. With the stakes being so great, “Psycho” says that Rickels’ verbal retorts will do him no good on fight night.
“Rickels can say whatever he wants to say. I focus on my fight and don't waste my time,” he said. “My fists have more power than his poor words. Lozano said that he was going to hurt me, but that is exactly what happened to him. I don't need to hear that, either, to get more motivation; my focus is developed enough without it.”