Last week, light heavyweight Kelly Anundson headed into the biggest fight of his young MMA career with momentum as well as the pressure that comes with it. After not having lost in over three years, the American Top Team fighter faced off against Luiz Philipe Lins in the semi-finals of the Bellator 205 pound tournament.
The Brazilian was undefeated and looked to be the stiffest test Anundson had yet to face, What’s more, they would face-off just a month and a half after their last bouts.
The grueling schedule of Bellator’s notorious tournament format was taking its toll on Anundson, but the grappler said that his goals made it worthwhile. “It can be hard sometimes because you want to rest a little bit after fighting, instead of going straight back into sparring,” he explained.
With new management, Bellator has announced that it will drop the tournament structure, moving forward. As such, this light heavyweight tourney may be the last one the promotion will do.
Anundson would go on to win over Lins after the Brazilian sustained a knee injury. The American now heads into perhaps the last tournament he’ll ever compete in, with a shot at the Bellator 205 pound belt on the line.
It’s those stakes, and more, that make this last, brutal tournament schedule worth it to “Crossface.” “It’s what you have to do,” he said.
“I want to become the light heavyweight tournament champion. There have been some very good guys before who have done that. Plus, it appears as though this will be the last tournament Bellator does so there’s added significance. I want to achieve a little bit of history. That’s what motivates me.