21 May 2017 | 10:54 pm
LONDON – If there’s any doubt in the mind of Bellator President Scott Coker over whether or not Linton Vassell earned a title shot Friday night, the fighter would love to set him straight.
“I won’t be happy about it, but we’ll have to chat because I feel like what else can I do?” Vassell (18-5-1, 7-2 BMMA) said after his dominant submission win over former light heavyweight champion and friend Liam McGeary (12-2, 9-2 BMMA) at Bellator 179.
The bout was part of the event at The SSE Arena in London. The main card aired on Spike on a tape-delay.
McGeary was nearly a 2-1 favorite over Vassell in the fight, but for the most part the underdog made it look pretty easy. That’s part of why he believes after things get settled between champion Phil Davis and recent signee Ryan Bader at Bellator 180 in New York next month, it should be his name called by Coker to fight the winner.
The win was the Brit’s first finish in more than two years and gave him three straight wins after decisions over another former champ in Emanuel Newton and UFC vet Francis Carmont.
“I’ve beaten two former champions and a UFC veteran in Francis,” Vassell said. “He’s retired now, and I don’t want to say I retired him – but I was his last fight, and he’s retired. So that’s three big wins. This win, I beat a former world champion, and I finished him. So I don’t see why I shouldn’t get that world title shot next.
“But we’ll have to talk and see what he’s got for me next. If it’s a big fight or something that makes sense, then maybe. But I think I should get the world title fight next – 100 percent.”
Given his friendship with McGeary, a fellow Brit, Vassell said the fight was all business. And he even said after tapping, McGeary was playful with his comments to him.
But it’s also a fight Vassell thinks might get run back again some day.
“He said I was a fat bastard,” Vassell said. “That’s what he said. He goes, ‘You fat bastard.’ … I could definitely see Liam and myself (fighting) again somewhere down the line.”
But well before that, Vassell, who turns 34 next month, will be hoping what arguably is the biggest win of his career will turn into a title shot.
If it was just a win, maybe there’d be a reason to hesitate. But forcing a 2-1 favorite and former champ to tap? That’s the icing on the cake.
“Without a doubt, yes,” Vassell said. “Liam is a great fighter and he was the former champion. To beat him, that’s a big, big feather in my cap. To finish him, that’s even better. I should get the next fight for the world title. I don’t see how I shouldn’t.
“I’ve always said I don’t go into fights just to win on points and maybe coast it. I go to finish all the time. Sometimes, that may be my downfall. But I knew I could finish him in the third round – it was only a matter of time. Without a doubt, I should be getting that world title fight.”