Linton Vassell is a very big guy. One need only look at a couple of weigh-in photos of the burly, 6-foot-4-inch Brit standing alongside “normal” light heavyweights to appreciate this reality. Speaking to Sherdog.com ahead of his bout with Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 218 this weekend — his debut at heavyweight — Vassell exudes a palpable sense of relief. It isn’t difficult to conclude that making the 205-pound divisional limit must have been taxing for Vassell, a fact he readily acknowledges. In fact, he claims his decision to move up in weight was made even before his last fight, a third-round TKO loss to Phil Davis at Bellator 200 last May.
“I had a bad weight cut going into the Phil Davis fight, and I was just like ‘I’m over this,’” Vassell said. “Win or lose, I was going to move up. I’d had quite enough of cutting that weight. I’d usually walk around weighing about 240, and then kind of pre-cut to about 225 to try and make it not such a hard [water] cut, and I’d just gotten over it. I was like, ‘Just let me eat and enjoy it and fight as a heavyweight now.’”
More than a mere loosening of the belt, Vassell claims that the move to heavyweight changes his entire approach to fight preparation. “Now I get to be a proper heavyweight, rather than a heavyweight trying to be a light heavyweight,” he said. “I get to eat, drink, train like a heavyweight. I can enjoy a good meal, eat pretty much what I want. Before, talking to you a week away from a fight, I’d be eating a little plate of vegetables or something. Now I can have carbs again!