Goiti Yamauchi: ‘Health and performance’ triggered move to welterweight at Bellator 279 despite lightweight success

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

HONOLULU – Goiti Yamauchi competed much of his career at lightweight, but not any more.

A staple of the division, Yamauchi (26-5 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) seldom lost fights at 155 pounds, which makes his shift up 15 pounds seem a little out of left field. But for Yamauchi, who competes at Bellator 279 it made sense for multiple reasons.

“A lot of things changed a lot because it’s 15 pounds more,” Yamauchi told MMA Junkie at a news conference Thursday. “Whoever cuts weight knows how difficult it is to cut weight. It makes a (big) difference. It’s way better. … We decided to move up just because of my health and performance. If you’re healthy, you will automatically gain performance. Me and my team and all the Bellator staff, we thought about it.”

Related

Jornel Lugo still plans to fight smart despite dislike for Danny Sabatello

Bellator 278 video: Juliana Velasquez, Liz Carmouche make weight for title fight in Hawaii

With contender status at lightweight, Yamauchi doesn’t think it’ll take long for his name to start being mentioned at the top of the welterweight division. His new weight class journey starts with Levan Chokheli (10-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) on Saturday’s prelims.

“For me, it’s a new beginning,” Yamauchi said. “I’m not shying away to start a new weight class. For me, if I had to start in the other weight class, I would do it because it’s what I love. I do MMA regardless of the weight class. So for me being here, competing and doing what I love, pursing my dream, it’s what matters. My goal is to be the best. My goal is to be the champion and I plan to do it as fast as I can.”

Bellator 279 takes place Saturday at Neal S. Blaisdell Center with the main card airing on Showtime after prelims on MMA Junkie.