Javy Ayala and Vitaly Minakov will finally square off at Bellator 232 after they were initially scheduled to fight at Bellator 225 this past August.
Ayala was forced out of the bout on the day of the event, but two months later, “Eye Candy” says he is fully cleared to fight.
“I didn’t pull out. The doctor wouldn’t clear me. I ended up getting a real bad infection on the side of my knee,” Ayala said to Sherdog.com. “The commission wouldn’t let me fight. It is all healed up now, I am back to 100 percent and ready to rock and roll.”
Although Minakov has only lost once in his MMA career, Ayala believes he can add another defeat to the Russian’s resume. He expects to have a clear advantage against the former Bellator champ in close quarters.
“I have the advantage in tight. If I can get this fight in tight, I can utilize my elbows and I feel like I’ll be able to land some elbows, knees short punches and have success there,” he explained. “It is going to be a real tough fight, a lot of punches thrown. I’m going to connect and knock him out.”
If Ayala is able to defeat Minakov by knockout, he suspects his next opponent will be reigning heavyweight champion Ryan Bader.
“I feel like me and him are the two top dogs. A win here will throw me in the mix to get my the next title shot,” he said.