Bellator 239 pits Javy Ayala and Valentin Moldavsky. Opening up the main card, Ayala takes on the 8-1 record. Ayala comes in to the fight with an MMA record of 11-7 and is the more experienced fighter. The two heavyweights open up the main card this Friday.
Javy Ayala started fighting at 12 years old. He took his time growing in the local circuit before getting the call from Bellator.
“I started off around 12 years ago. I started off in the local circuit around here in California. I started fighting and started taking bigger name fights. Eventually Bellator came up to me and asked if I wanted to start fighting for them. I’ve been with them ever since.”
Outside of fighting, Ayala is a family man. He loves his family and uses them to make himself better in a fight. When times are hard in the cage, he goes out there and remembers why he’s fighting.
“I enjoy spending time with my wife and my kids. My kids are my motivation, they keep me going. Whenever I’m tired in the fight, I think of them and I push through it.”
Javy Ayala Will Fight Anyone
Ayala made his Bellator debut in 2013. He’s taken some of the toughest fights including Sergei Kharitonov, Roy Nelson, Cheick Kongo, and Frank Mir. Since his debut, Javy Ayala feels like he has matured as a fighter.
“I feel like my abilities have gotten a lot better. My knowledge has gone to a whole new level. My maturity too. Back then I didn’t take super serious, I still took it serious, but not as much as I do now. Now I’m fighting these super big names. I’m not fighting in the casino anymore. I’m fighting some of the best names in the world. I have got to make sure I’m 100% ready.”
Seeing Ayala fight anyone and everyone, he thinks it proves he’s a gamer. “I feel like it shows Bellator that I’m willing to take on anyone they put in front of me and that I’m a gamer. I like to fight. If you tell me, ‘Hey, Javy we want you to fight this guy,’ if you give me enough time I’ll fight anybody. That’s what I always tell them.”
Preparing for Moldavsky
Preparing for his upcoming fight, Ayala and his camp has done their homework. They’re preparing for a close battle in the clinch and getting ready for war.
“I’ve been working a lot with a new Muay Thai coach to make my elbows and my knees and my close range strikes a lot more crisp. I feel like he’s more of an inside guy. He’s more of a grinder where he gets on you, holds you and keeps the fighting close. That’s something I wanted to do, start getting my elbows a lot better and a lot more dangerous.”
Bellator and RIZIN
After New Year’s Eve, Bellator and RIZIN’s cross promotion event was a major success. Having several MMA and kickboxing bouts together, cross promotion events are on the map. Javy Ayala would love to get into something like Bellator vs. RIZIN for the experience.
“I would love to do that. It gives me the opportunity to work with different companies and fight in different places. Going to Japan would be awesome. Never in my life I thought I would go to Japan. To be able to say I’ve gone here and here is a big honor for me.”
Ayala is only 31, which is young for a heavyweight. Given the heavyweight division’s legacy and super popular fighters, Ayala would love to step in the cage with one of his favorites.
“Actually I feel like I still have the opportunity. I would love to fight Fedor. I’ve idolized him since before I even started fighting. Just the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, I got the chance to fight Fedor,’ is just the greatest honor I could get.”
Ayala Predicts Bellator 243
With Bellator 243 around the corner, Ryan Bader is set to defend his light heavyweight belt against Vadim Nemkov. Javy Ayala weighed in on the title fight and how he thought it would go down.
“I feel like Bader is going to win. He’s just a strong guy. He’ll grind you out, he’ll tire you out. Then when you feel like you have some momentum going, he’ll take you down and hold you there. I feel like Bader is the champ for a reason. I feel like he’ll be able to defend it well.”