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Interview with Jornel Lugo ahead of Bellator 252

Jornel Lugo

The hectic Bellator schedule rolls on as Bellator 252 takes place this Thursday in Uncasville, Connecticut, United States. The 12-fight card is headlined by Featherweight Champion Patricio Pitbull (30-4) who puts his belt on the line against Pedro Carvalho (11-3).

I had the pleasure of talking with Bantamweight Jornel Lugo, as he prepares to take on Schyler Sootho in the 6th bout of the night.

Jornel Lugo

The undefeated high-flying Bantamweight Jornel Lugo (4-0) makes the walk to the Bellator cage for the second time in his career. The 24-year old took his 2019 season in his stride, competing three times in five months, securing 3 wins and two coming in the first round.

Jornel Lugo made his official Bellator debut just over a year ago with a comfortable unanimous decision win over John Douma. Since then, Lugo returned to the regional scene to edge a split decision victory over Cortavious Romious at SFT 23: Jesus vs. Cachorro.

The Miami born will be looking to keep his undefeated record intact and show Scott Coker he’s here to stay.

Schyler Sootho

Schyler Sootho (4-0) enters the bout with an identical record to his opponent, with two finishes on that list.

Soothe turned to the professional ranks in 2017, where he defeated Benjamin Allen in his debut. A year later followed by a victory over Robert Wolford. 2019 seen Soothe with his most active period in competition, competing twice in the space of 7-months defeating Brent Walter and Raymond Yanez.

Unlike Lugo, Soothe has never experienced the bright lights of fighting under a major organisation, could the occasion hinder his performance against a young hungry kid from Florida?


Interview

How has the preparation been on the lead up to your bout at Bellator 252, this marks your second bout in two months under the pandemic, so I assume you’re used to the precautions leading up to the fight? 

Lugo – “My preparation has been flawless! I’ve been able to train daily without missing, sparring, grappling, cardio, etc. This is the first time I got to focus on just fighting due to not working a secular job anymore. I’m pretty used to fighting in this covid pandemic due to fighting myself and cornering multiple people during this time.”

You’re fresh of a split decision victory over Cortavious Romious at SFT 23, how much notice did you get ahead of your upcoming bout with Bellator, was it the case of straight back into camp or did you get some time off to relax? 

Lugo – “After my last fight at SFT I took off 2 weeks to rest my body. Then I got right back to cardio and training hard. I got news of this fight about 4-5 weeks notice but was already preparing to fight.”

What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to showcase your skills on a show like Bellator at the early stages of your career, and has Bellator officially giving you a contract or is this a one fight deal like your last bout under the promotion? 

Lugo – “It means everything to me to be able to fight on this platform. Long ago I decided this is what I wanted to do as a career and God, Bellator, my friends and family helped make this a reality for me so I’m very appreciative. This fight is a 1 fight deal but is set up a kind of like contender series if I win they will give me a contract.”

What’s your thoughts on Schyler Sootho as an opponent, A mirrored record of yourself, I don’t imagine there’s much tape of Sootho out there as he makes his Bellator debut. How do you go about preparing for someone you don’t know much about? 

Lugo – “I think Schyler is a good fighter, I know he likes to stand like me so this is going to be a fun fight where I will come out on top. Preparing for him has been pretty straight forward, train and be ready everywhere, I’ve fought bigger taller strikers than myself before so this is not my first rodeo.”

Two undefeated fighters, both being offered a chance at competing on the highest stage, what can fight fans worldwide expect to see from you this Thursday? 

Lugo – “They can expect to see a smart fighter figure out a way to defeat a larger, stronger opponent, they can expect to see chess, not checkers.”

Lastly, could I get an official fight prediction from you?

Lugo – “My prediction is this, pure schooling from me all around the board. I will dominate this fight and find a stoppage!


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