After his win over Damian Grabowski in Milwaukee last September, I witnessed Cole Konrad celebrate his advancement to the Bellator heavyweight tournament finals by devouring a large pizza by himself, standing up holding the box in one hand and eating the pie with the other on a lonely street corner. It was really impressive to see in person to be honest. The physics required of him to hold the box with one hand for the good 20 minutes it took him to eat what I am guesstimating was a 18″ thincrust with at least three toppings bottles my mind. But he is a champion after all.
Tonight Cole Konrad steps back into the Bellator cage to face his biggest challenge yet: The Headhunter Paul Buentello. The Polar Bear spoke with MMAJunkie.com to reiterate the fact that he will be sticking to his strengths for this non title affair.
“Paul has the biggest name out of anybody I have fought, He’s done the most. He has the most credentials. He brings the most experience, which is always dangerous.”
“I wouldn’t say I look at it any more difficult than any other fight, I approach everything the same mentally. I’m just excited. I’m ready to go. I usually rise to the level of my competition. I think you’ll see the best out of me that you’ve seen so far.
“I still train my wrestling a lot, I train my striking, obviously a little bit more because I need more work there. I’m not going to let my strength go just to get better in some other area. I work on my wrestling. I work on my transitions from punches into takedowns. I’m not going to get away from my base.
“That’s my biggest pet peeve, when all the sudden someone who’s good and successful in one area tries to switch over to another area and starts getting beat for no good reason. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m out there to win, so I’m going to do whatever I have to do to win.”
Konrad is a dude who is true to his words. He’s shot in and taken down his opponent at will in all of his career fights. In his last 3 tournament fights he hasn’t let his opponents stand for more than the first minute (Grabowski taken down 2 seconds in, Grove 58 seconds and Lloret 52 seconds). What is the over/under for a Polar Bear takedown for tonight I wonder? My official guess in Konrad breaks the cycle and shoots in at 1:04 of the first round.