Bellator 138’s Daniel Weichel talks 145lb title fight, German MMA and Drake

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Looking to extend his winning streak to eight straight, Daniel Weichel competes for the Bellator 145 pound title on June 19th against champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 138 in St Louis. The Bellator Season 10 featherweight tournament winner spoke to MMAOddsBreaker on Episode 108 of “The Parting Shot Podcast” and discussed a variety of topics.   Georgi Karakhanyan initially getting the title shot against Patricio Freire over him  “[Does it bother me?] Not really. I knew that even winning the tournament I would probably have to wait because there were other fighters [in line] for the title. I was patient; they promised me that I could have a fight in between. I fought Pat Curran, a former champ and a great guy. This was good for me and I kept being patient. Somehow I knew that something like this was going to happen. I was waiting, training, being in shape and waiting for the [title shot]”   Training camp ahead of Bellator 138  “I always train at MMA Sprit in Frankfurt, Germany. This is the best [place to be] training wise. I have the best environment to prepare for fights like this. We have an outstanding striking coach, Mohamed Ouali, who in my opinion is the best striking coach in the MMA game. My wrestling coach is Saba Bolaghi, he’s a [top ranked] freestyle wrestler and was also on the national team for Germany. For my jiu-jitsu I worked with Din Thomas, now [I work with] Andrew Sall. As well we have great training partners over here like M-1 featherweight champion Ivan Buchinger. I [also] have Max Coga, who is a three time German MMA champion – and a kid you have to watch out for in the next couple of years. Also we got JZ Cavalcante for my training camp right now. I’m more than comfortable with my training camp and I feel really good going into this fight.”   Match up against Patrico “Pitbull” Freire “I see myself matching up with perfectly for Freire. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life right now. I have all the tools that I need to beat him and I’m confident in that. I think for my audience this will be a fantastic, entertaining fight. I see myself going into St Louis, focused, 100% sharp, more focused than I’ve ever been for a fight. I’ll go in there I will be concentrated, no matter where the fight takes place I will take this belt. I will beat Patricio Pitbull.”   Possessing a height and reach advantage  “It [comes down to] who plays his gameplan better. I think my coaches and I worked out a good gamplan for that. Definitely the game plan is to use the reach perfectly and don’t let him get [inside]. Definitely I’ll use that to my advantage.”   Potentially being the first fighter to finish “Pitbull” “I definitely will go for the finish when I see openings for it. But I’m a professional and a smart fighter. I don’t rush into things. Either way I will take the belt”   Competing at featherweight  “Actually [the weight cut] gets easier and easier because I get more experienced in how to use nutrition. My team and I are working perfectly together. [In the past] I think I could have done things a little bit better. I feel really confident [making] 145 pounds. I really feel like this is the weight class I’m best at, I feel more quick, I’m better conditioned. Right now the weight cut isn’t that [bad] for me.”   Food cravings during camp  “That’s pretty easy to answer, I love burgers. We have some pretty good burger places out here in Frankfurt. I think like many fighters I like chocolate, yeah just sweets something every now and then I like to [indulge].”   Mental Preparation for this fight  “I like to use meditation. Visualizing how I see myself in the fight. One way I do it, I don’t focus too much on my opponent, like what he is going to do [or] what I have to react on. I’d rather see myself doing things. I focus on myself and I visualize how I am going to do stuff in the fight. That makes me relaxed a little bit more, so I go with a pretty good feeling into the fight.”   MMA scene in Germany “MMA is growing it’s getting bigger and bigger. It’s still a little bit difficult because it’s not television right now. People don’t see it regularly so this would help a lot if it [was] on TV. But I get recognized more and more people talk to me [because] they’ve seen me on social media. MMA is growing but we also have some [organized] shows in Germany. Step by step, but I still hope they get a good TV deal and we see MMA on [more of a] regular basis.”   Being an ambassador for Respekt “It’s very important for me to show my sport that respect is all over. For me it’s the toughest sport in the world, but still everybody keeps the respect high. It’s nice for me to give back to the people how important it is to have respect and not prejudge anyone.”   Ideal Downtime  “I hang out with my family, friends and girlfriend and just have a great time with them. We got to the cinema and watch a good movie. I like good BBQ’s with my family, that’s really a special time for me and my family.”   People thinking he’s the rapper “Drake” “When I fought in Canada so many people talked to me [and said] I look like Drake. Everybody said ‘Drake fought on Bellator’ He’s a rapper and everybody said I look like him. After the fight everybody started talking to me about that so it was pretty funny.   You can follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielWeichel . He’s like to thank his sponsor Olimp Nurition and you can listen to the full audio version of this interview on Episode 108 of The Parting Shot Podcast

Written by James Lynch

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