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Bellator 134: UFC veteran Sokoudjou invades 'British Invasion' to face Linton Vassell

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou is in an interesting position at Bellator 134, as he's the "African Assassin" on a card that's being touted as the "British Invasion" of Bellator MMA.

Sokoudjou hopes to have his hand raised against Linton Vassell!
Sokoudjou hopes to have his hand raised against Linton Vassell!
Bellator MMA

When he's hot, he's hot.

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou burst onto the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene with two huge upsets in PRIDE at the start of his career, knocking off Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona with back-to-back first round knockouts.

When he's not, he's not.

Sokoudjou rode the hype train around his early success into UFC, where he went 1-2 and was subsequently released by the promotion. Since then, he's stayed at just over .500 for his career, always one or two wins ahead of his losses, managing to snag a KSW light heavyweight title for awhile along the way.

The Cameroonian now looks to find the consistency that has thus far eluded him in his career. His tenure in Bellator MMA is off to a good start with two impressive wins: a rear naked choke of Terry Davinney and a TKO finish of Malik Merad.

Now, Sokoudjou gets to relish the role of spoiler as the "African Assassin" by making his way to the "British Invasion" on Feb. 27 in Uncasville, Connecticut. To get his third straight Bellator win, he'll need to stop former light heavyweight title contender Linton Vassell, and in this week's chat with MMAmania.com, he talked about the big challenge ahead.

"(Vassell) is a good grappler and most of his wins come through submission. I just gotta be careful once we get to the ground. He loves to use that rear-naked choke, and that's his go-to move, and whenever he gets in trouble he finds a way to get you on the ground and try to sink his hooks in and get you to submit."

If Sokoudjou can stuff the takedown attempts and pick up his third straight win, he feels that he'll be in a much better position to call his own shots in Bellator.

"In 2015 it's all about winning every single fight, and then just put myself in a position where I don't need to ask for anything, and my wins will be able to talk for me. Then I'll get what I should get. That's my plan."

With Bellator's light heavyweight champion Emanuel Newton fighting in the main event against Liam McGeary, perhaps Sokoudjou could "get" the winner of that fight, assuming he wins big over the former No. 1 contender. Sokoudjou is humble about himself and his prospects, but does like the idea of a title shot.

"Everybody fights for it. You know, I would love to get that belt somewhere in my living room another day, but right now I'm just focused on the guy in front me in a couple of days here. Results are what matchmakers and whoever is in charge of lining up titles fights are looking for."

Although his career has had its ups downs over the years, from beating Bob Sapp and Jan Nortje, to being beaten by Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi, Sokoudjou takes it all in stride as experience gained is what got him where he is today.

"I did what I thought was proper at the time. No matter what I say about all those fights, the results (would) still be the same. When you get ready for a fight you always know and think 'I'm in the best shape of my life and I'm ready.' So you know, I'm not going to sit here and give any excuses. I got my butt kicked and I learned from it and now I'm trying to make sure that doesn't happen again."

He's humble, but he's confident, and he's ready for Linton Vassell.

Check out the audio of our interview below and check him out on Feb. 27 live on Spike TV or in person at the Mohegan Sun Arena. MMAmania.com will bring you full coverage of the Bellator 134 card on fight night.

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