In just a few, short hours, Bellator light-heavyweights Emanuel Newton and Linton Vassell will meet in the cage for their much anticipated rematch. Their first contest ended with Newton snagging a late finish in the fifth round, defeating Vassell via rear naked choke at the 47 second mark.
As far as visibility goes, this fight couldn't be on a more popular card. The freak show aspect is absolutely palpable, and that's a good thing. The entertainment value will likely be delivered in spades, shining some much needed light on the matches that are more important to rankings and setting future title shots and big money bouts.
A few days ago, the Three Amigos Podcast caught up with Vassell for some dialogue about a host of topics, but one thing in particular caught our ears. Recently, we've begun asking fighters a universal question across our interviews: If there were one change you could make in the sport, what would it be? Linton's answer was a great one, and something any fan of the sport could appreciate, considering there's very little financial upswing for most athletes in MMA that are not in the Top 10 of the UFC, and even less for those outside its roster. Here's how Linton answered the question:
"This is something I've been speaking to other top fighters about, and we all say, that there should be...how can I explain it...that we should all be getting paid for training. What it means, per week, I don't know, three or four hundred pounds per week? Five hundred pounds a week would be really nice.
This is a 24/7 job. I know we get paid when we fight, but we also need money leading up to that. This is obviously during training camps, and it's to live, to eat, to cover the training expenses. That's one thing I'd really like to see change. If it doesn't change while I'm active, maybe it can in the future, for those fighters. I know we have sponsors, but not all sponsors pay, so that would be the one thing I'd like to see change the most."
You can check out Linton Vassell vs. Emanuel Newton on tonight's Bellator 149 main card, live from Houston, TX and only on SPIKE TV.
You can check out the entire interview here (Linton's interview starts at the 1:17:40 mark of the audio), or via the embedded player below. Remember, if you're looking for us on SoundCloud or iTunes, we're under the MMA Nation name. Follow our Twitter accounts: Stephie Haynes, Three Amigos Podcast, Iain Kidd and Mookie Alexander or our Facebook fan page, Three Amigos Podcast.