It will be tough to put together a better scenario for a Bellator debut than what we will see for 23-year-old Braydon Akeo. Not only will he get to make his first walk to the Bellator cage in his home state of Hawaii, but Akeo will have the opportunity to knock off one of the featherweight division’s rising stars.
Akeo will face Tywan Claxton this Friday at Bellator 235. The event takes place at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii and will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Josh Barnett and Ronny Markes.
The 145-pound bout between Akeo and Claxton will take place on the main card.
Akeo checked in with MyMMANews.com to discuss getting the matchup with Claxton and his excitement to make his Bellator debut, how he got into the sport of MMA, how he was inspired to take the final leap into MMA competition by Max Holloway’s first UFC title win, the marquee win on his resume to date without showing his full capabilities as a martial artist, Pat Healy’s influence on his career, his response to people believing this will be a “bounce back” fight for Claxton, sharing a card with Josh Barnett and much more.
In addition, Akeo also explains how he sees the fight playing out with the dangerous Claxton on Friday night.
“I see me coming away with a ‘W’,” Akeo told MyMMANews.com. “I’m super excited, super thankful for Bellator for giving me this main card slot. I think it was an excellent choice by them. It will be a great fight for the crowd. A lot of the Hawaii fans last year wanted to see Hawaii vs. The Mainland and we’re giving it to them Dec. 20.
“As an amateur, and in my professional career, I’ve never lost a round. I’m 3-0 and on paper, people are gonna look at this and say he’s a D-1 wrestler, I’m not. He was never a D-1 All-American or a D-1 national champ, he was a D-2 All-American. I’m a Junior College All-American. Those kind of things, we’re gonna find out fight night who the better wrestler is and who the better fighter is. I feel like I have the edge in the grappling department. People want to talk about wrestling, I’ve been doing judo and jiu-jitsu since I was four years old. This isn’t just wrestling; this is an MMA fight.
“I’m gonna take him into deep waters because I know he can’t swim. That’s the game plan; to take him into deep waters.”
Check out the full interview with the unbeaten Braydon Akeo as he prepares to face Tywan Claxton this Friday at Bellator 235 in the video above.