Bellator 259 went down on Friday, May 21st. The pugilistic proceedings emanated from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, and broadcasted on Showtime. At the post-event presser, I spoke with Sumiko Inaba and Grant Neal following their wins.
Sumiko Inaba and Grant Neal
I was just noticing the Instagram post you had yesterday with the Lady Samurai 2.0 caption.
Did you think you were comprehensively able to show off that next permutation of Sumiko in the cage tonight?
“Yeah you know, I felt it. I came into this fight feeling very prepared. I knew she wanted to wrestle. And I prepared for it. I have to watch the fight back. I know I was…She tried to take me down a lot and I just tried to work back up to my feet. So I was able to display my striking.”
I noticed you were interacting with the cornermen of your opponent Tyree Fortune and you were saying, ‘I hate having to fight you guys, I like you so much’.
I’m kind of wondering, where does that level of kinship with ATT Portland come from?
“So, I know Austin Vanderford was over at Portland. I’m really, really fond of that dude. He’s an awesome guy and we just have a really good rapport. Then after I fought Hamza Salim, after the fight he was just a really nice guy. And ultimately, we have to go in there and do our job. That’s the unfortunate part of the game. I’m going to attack that job relentlessly. But it’s harder to do on guys that outside of the cage, you wouldn’t attack at all.”
“I could see those guys as being some of my brothers. I mean if they want to come and train or whatever like they have a place to stay and they’re welcome. So it’s hard to fight people that you respect. But that’s my job and that’s what I signed up to do. So I’m going to do it, but I’d rather have someone that doesn’t like me.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.