Young prospect Mike “The Savage” Kimbel returns to the cage at Bellator 222 on June 14th at Madison Square Garden. Kimbel will be facing Sebastian Ruiz at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” in a bantamweight tilt. Mike Kimbel was complimentary about his opponent heading into this prize fight.
“He’s a Muay Thai Fighter. He’s got a lot of heart. He DOESN’T back down. He’s a tough, wiry striker”
Mike Kimbel has also been working with Adam Borics. Borics joins Kimbel at Bellator 222, against super-prospect Aaron Pico. Kimbel appreciates the benefit of having a sparring partner who’s looking to peak at exactly the right time.
Mike Kimbel at London Shootfighters
Kimbel has been putting in time with London Shootfighters ahead of this tilt. Kimbel noted that he was picking up a bit of the London slang but also picking up a tremendous amount of fighting knowledge. A fellow Bellator compatriot helped guide Kimbel to join London Shootfighters.
“MVP invited me over…… Amazing individual, I love him like a brother………yeah, man. It’s good. It’s good to have PEOPLE that are hungry, MOTIVATed and, not for nothing, talented as well.”
Kimbel has also been working with Adam Borics. Borics is also fighting at Bellator 222 against Aaron Pico. Kimbel appreciates the benefit of having a sparring partner who’s looking to peak at exactly the right time that he is.
Looking to Send a Message at MSG
That knowledge will be put to the test as Kimbel is looking to rebound from his first professional MMA loss. Kimbel fell to John Douma via first-round triangle choke at Bellator 215 in February of this year.
It wasn’t long ago that many were buzzing about Kimbel’s endless potential on the heels of his record-setting Bellator knockout win over Alex Potts. With MMA being such a “what have you done for me lately?” sport, “The Savage” is looking to redirect the present narrative and reignite that prior hype surrounding him.
The Bellator Bantamweight Landscape
Kimbel wants to get back on track and climb the division’s rankings. This has some localized importance because on the same card, Kyoji Horiguchi and Darrion Caldwell will be rematching, but this time, for the Bellator bantamweight belt. Mike Kimbel sees the Horiguchi-Caldwell rematch going differently than the last time with the shift from ring to cage playing a big factor in the second go around.
There are multiple high stakes Bantamweight tilts but for pure action, Ruiz vs. Kimbel might deliver the most. Both are hungry young fighters in their early twenties with crowd-pleasing styles. Also, neither seem terribly fond of seeing a judge’s scorecard so this one could very well end quickly and in highlight reel fashion. Kimbel had a pretty matter of fact, succinct assessment of this bout as we were wrapping up our talk though.
“Go in there and do business. Skills versus skills”
Bellator 222 goes June 14th in Madison Square Garden. The Friday card will be broadcast exclusively on DAZN live from the World’s Most Famous Arena. Kimbel vs. Ruiz takes place on the prelims portion and the preliminary action goes at 7:30 PM ET.