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Bellator 141 interview: Raphael Butler looks to 'Silence' Lorenzo Hood

Raphael Butler is a man looking for consistency in Bellator's Heavyweight division, but the debut of "The Dream Killer" Lorenzo Hood won't make that quest easy.

Bellator MMA

Former professional boxer Raphael Butler came into Bellator MMA back in 2013 with 28 knockouts in 35 wins in the squared circle, as well as an undefeated (5-0) record inside the mixed martial arts (MMA) cage. He seemed poised to be a world killer in the Heavyweight division.

However, a promising start went awry at Bellator 119 when he fought journeymen Nick Rossborough to a draw, then found himself choked out by Javy Ayala in the first round at Bellator 125.

It's an old cliche in MMA that you learn more from a loss than a win, but the Ayala fight was the first official loss on Butler's record in mMMAs, which gave him a chance to regroup and improve on his submission defense.

Butler spoke with about the evolving skill set that he showcased against Josh Diekmann at Bellator 134 and about the difficult challenge ahead poised by "The Dream Killer" Lorenzo Hood, who he collides with this Friday night (Aug. 28, 2015) at Bellator 141 inside Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Florida.

"Training is going real good man. I'm firing on all cylinders, I'm pushing myself in workouts, and I'm just out here busting my buns for this fight."

Each man comes in 6'3," just over 260 pounds, and with nine wins as professionals. To Butler's way of thinking this makes the training and strategy he picked up at Alliance MMA a key advantage.

"When those factors cancel each other out it's all about who's gonna be more technical. We're both really big really athletic guys, we both have a 100 percent finishing record in our fights, so I think this fight is gonna come down to who has the better game plan and who can apply the better game plan."

With this being being Butler's seventh fight for the promotion and Hood's first, it's seemingly a more crucial fight for Hood to do well and prove that he belongs.

"I kinda hope that's the way he's taking the fight, because if he's taking the fight that way, he's going to be more open for mistakes if he's gonna try to apply too much (pressure) at a place where he shouldn't. I guarantee if he does that I will capitalize on it."

For a man known for his hand speed and power, the guillotine choke of Diekmann last time out was something of a surprise ... even to Butler himself.

"Truth be told I didn't even work on that submission during camp. I just think I'm finally getting to a point where I'm starting to get slightly comfortable with this MMA thing. I'm starting to see things and capitalize on stuff that I wouldn't before I started training at Alliance. For me to pull off something that I didn't even train in camp just goes to show off my progression in the sport."

Butler and Hood are not the only heavyweights on the main card for Bellator 141, and Butler is curious to see how Justin Wren fares after a five-year layoff, facing an opponent in Josh Burns he once did himself.

"When I first heard that Bellator had signed the guy I was like 'Why does that name sound familiar?' Then I remembered where I heard it from -- and that dude's a banger man! I'm actually pretty excited to see him myself, just to see how his mindset is from him being gone doing what he was doing for the last five to six years out there (in the Congo). I fought Josh Burns and I know what he has to offer but it's interesting to see Wren and what he has now."

A pair of intriguing Heavyweight fights to be sure on this Friday night, but we couldn't let Butler go without hearing a funny story about how he became "The Silencer."

"My old boxing manager Steve Munisteri, he was really big into boxing nicknames and I never wanted one, but he kept pressing the issue. He calls me one random day and tells me 'Well hey Raphael my girlfriend was thinking about you while she was in the shower - she came up with a couple of nicknames.' My first reaction was 'Why was she thinking about me in the shower?' {*laughter*} And so she came up with 'The Bomber' or 'The Silencer.' I took 'The Silencer' because 'The Bomber' just seemed kind of cheap."

Whether he hits hard with the hands or finds necks with the choke, "The Silencer" lives to put opponents to sleep.

Check out the complete audio of our interview with Butler below and complete Bellator 141 coverage is right here at


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