LOGAN STORELY knows he’ll be going into the lion’s den when he fights for Bellator gold in London this weekend – but competing in front of a hostile crowd is nothing new for the American.
The Sanford MMA star was drafted to face London’s own Michael Page for the interim welterweight title on Friday night.
The majority of fans in attendance at the intimate SSE Wembley Arena will cheer for Storely’s death as he makes his way to the cage.
But his wrestling experience in front of hostile crowds at college prepared him well for the biggest fight of his career.
He told SunSport, “I know there’s going to be about 50 out of the 13,000 people in the arena who aren’t going to boo me. But I struggled with it [environment] In front.
“I wrestled 15,000 Hawkeye fans who hate Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Penn State, all those places, I’ve done it before in the college ranks.
“15,000 or 20,000 people on ESPN and a lot of people want to see you lose. So we’re used to the boos, we’re used to the referees, we’re used to a lot of that sometimes not going our way. “
No stranger to the pressures of fighting in his hometown, Storely recalls, “I fought at home in Sioux Falls two or three times.
“It’s fun to have the audience with you, but at the same time there’s a lot more pressure.
“He will have all of his friends, family and people he will forever know there. There’s a lot behind it.”
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Storely was drafted in to replace undisputed welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov, who has bravely taken up arms in Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia.
Amosov ousted Storely from the undefeated ranks in November 2020, but the American has no plans to retaliate against the champion any time soon.
He said: “They are going through a very different thing in Ukraine. And honestly, we don’t even know when he’ll be back.
“Every day they try to protect their contract and make sure they are alive.
“They have another fight coming up right now and I don’t know what’s going to happen or where that’s sitting.
“I don’t think the war will be over in two or six months. So now I wish him the best and hope they all stay safe.
“I can’t even understand what he deals with on a daily basis. Right now I’m mainly focusing on fighting MVP.
“I’ll go there, take care of it, and then we’ll see where the world is after this fight and what Amosov thinks.
“Will he come back or is it a complete mess over there?”
Before he can even think about avenging his only defeat, Storely must first do what no man has done and beat Page on home soil.
And he has no illusions about the magnitude of the task ahead.
He said: “I know how talented he is. I know the speed and the distances [he operates at] causes problems for many people.
“So I have to make sure I’m very light footed and I’m shooting on all cylinders and using my eyes and using that distance and making sure I’m reading it right.
“I’ve seen a lot of his fights and I know there’s a series that Derek Anderson hasn’t acted in. And that’s silly. It’s like MVP trying to wrestle me, he won’t.
“I respect him a lot but I know what I have to do to win and he knows what he has to do.”
May traditionally marks the start of the English summer, but Storely plans to bring a storm to north-west London this weekend.
He said: “I don’t think he realizes how quick I am when it comes to my in and out fakes and getting shots.
“I didn’t feel its speed, but I know it’s fast because I can see it. But I don’t think he realizes how fast my fakes are and I get from point a to point b.
“I think my athleticism will surprise him a lot with my ability to close the distance. So I have to close the distance and make him tired.
“But you can’t play at MVP distance, you just can’t. You can’t get sloppy there.
“And the guys who responded and started showboating, we saw what he did to them.
“You can’t play his game. People get frustrated because they can’t touch him, so they start putting their hands down and trying to bring him in, and then he cracks people up.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5314803/bellator-london-logan-storely-mvp/ Logan Storely is undeterred by the hostile crowd as he attempts to hand Michael Page a shocking home loss