Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA
Roman Faraldo (7-0 MMA, 4-0 Bellator) did not mince words when it comes to his Bellator 283 opponent, Luis Iniguez (5-1 MMA, 0-0 Bellator).
“I think he sucks,” Faraldo told MMASucka.
Faraldo and Iniguez are set to meet at Bellator 283, scheduled for Friday, July 22, in a welterweight showdown.
“I think I beat him in every facet of the game,” Faraldo said. “I think I’m a better athlete, I think I’m a better striker, I’m a better wrestler, I’m a better fighter. Across the board, I’m just better than him. Is he a tough guy? Sure. I had four dudes literally say they were going to fight me and back out. Three of them were contracted guys. So for him stepping up and taking the fight, kudos. But I think I’m going to lay him out just like I do everybody else.”
Faraldo said his finish of Iniguez could come at any time, as he put down his last foe, Kelvin Rayford, with a jab before finishing the job with ground and pound.
“The fight can be over at any time,” Faraldo said. “First round, second round. It’s a matter of when I land. I don’t see the fight going past two rounds, that’s for sure.”
Faraldo said he would mix it up and grapple if Iniguez can bring it out of him.
“If the guy is up to par, and he pushes me to show my abilities, by all means, I will show my abilities to wrestle, work the clinch, work these different facets of the sport. But at the same time, if I can go in there, move around, establish positions and crack this dude with an overhand right and put his lights out, I’ll take that too. I have no issue with finishing him fast, collecting my check and getting out of there.”
Faraldo, while not yet ranked in Bellator’s top-10 welterweight rankings, is considered by many a prospect to watch. None of his professional opponents have seen the third round yet.
As far as his career progression goes, Faraldo does not see Iniguez as a tougher test than Robert Turnquest, who was by far the most experienced combatant that the American Top Team product has yet faced. Faraldo put Turnquest down with a brutal flying knee at Bellator 271, living up to his nickname, “Vicious.”
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) November 13, 2021
And Faraldo does not consider Turnquest to have been his toughest test yet.
“When you look at Turnquest’s career as a general overview, I think Turnquest has fought better guys than Luis [Iniguez],” Faraldo said. “In my personal opinion, my hardest fight in Bellator was against Pat Casey. Pat had the ability to punch with both hands, he was strong. I had to really pick my shots to get in and out, because Pat was chucking his hands and he was also trying to wrestle. He was trying to work the MMA game to its fullest extent.”
Faraldo finished Casey in the second round, also by flying knee.
While Faraldo firmly believes he holds the advantage over Iniguez in every aspect of the game, he did give his upcoming opponent some props.
“I think this guy, Luis, he’s a tough guy, man. In the grand scheme of things, if you get in the cage, you have the right and the respect to consider yourself a tough individual. I’ll give him that. He’s tough. From what I’ve seen, he’s been in some fights. I think he’s knocked out a few people, so he has the ability to knock somebody out. I just don’t think he’s on my level. I think on a consistent basis, the people who I’m around and train with are at the highest level of the sport and the best in the world. I consider myself one of the best in the world. I just haven’t had the stage to prove so. I just don’t think this guy is on my level.”
Faraldo sees himself as a future wearer of gold and views himself as a blue chip prospect for Bellator. He’s aware that he’s put on exciting fights for the promotion – even if some have not been the longest bouts.
“As a promotion and as a promoter, I feel you want guys who are going to go in there and give you something that they can put on a highlight reel that’s going to awe people and wow people,” Faraldo said. “I have that wow factor. I have the ability to put anyone to sleep at any time.”
Faraldo’s career progression with Bellator lies in the decisions the promotion makes, he said. He has his goals, while Bellator has theirs. “Vicious” said he will fight whoever Bellator puts in front of him, adding that he’s never said “no” to a fight.
“As far as me and the promotion, I think we’ve got a good thing going,” Faraldo said. “I want to be a champion. I hope they see what I see. I hope the promotion sees the value in me, because I will be a champion. If that’s in their plan, we’ll make it happen. If not, then I’ll just have to continue crushing people until they do see it.”
Faraldo hopes to crush Iniguez and then fight again in November, preferably in Florida. And he wants a top-10 foe.
Faraldo will look to remain unbeaten at Bellator 283. He said the only pressure he feels is that to improve; not keeping the ‘0’ in his loss column.
“I feel like if I’m continuing to improve, then that ‘0’ will never go. I put the pressure on myself to continue to get better. I’ll let all the other sh– fall where it does. This sport, it’s one man vs. one man. There might be favorites and all that stuff, but at the end of the day, anything can happen. If I go out there with the mentality that I did everything I could to prepare for the fight, and I go out there and I fight to my abilities, I don’t think I’ll ever lose. And if I do lose, then at least I’ll be able to accept the fact I did everything I could for that fight. And I’ll go back, I’ll look at where I made my mistakes, I’ll improve and it’ll never happen again. That’s kinda how I view the ‘0.’ I don’t put too much stress on the ‘0.’ Obviously, it’s a big deal when it comes to money and stuff. For me, it’s more of a reassurance that I’m doing my job right.”
Faraldo will look to do his job against Iniguez at Bellator 283, which is set to go down from the Emerald Queen Casino and Hotel in Tacoma, Washington, on July 22. The card is set to air on Showtime, with the prelims to be featured on YouTube. Faraldo vs. Iniguez is currently slotted in as a prelim.
Bellator 283 is set to be headlined by a welterweight scrap between former champion Douglas Lima and Jason Jackson. Lima and Jackson are ranked No. 3 and 4 in the welterweight rankings, respectively.