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Bellator’s 212 Tywan Claxton will impose his will, and Fortnite dance moves, on Kaeo Meyer in Honolulu

Tywan Claxton interview

Bellator 212: “Salute the Troops” goes down Fri., Dec. 14, 2018 at Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. The event is free to all armed forces and their families who can attend live to see Brent Primus (8-0) defend his Lightweight title in a rematch against “Iron” Michael Chandler (18-4).

Before that fight takes place, fans will have a chance to see Tywan Claxton (3-0) in Featherweight action. His Bellator debut came via highlight reel flying knee that saw his preliminary bout bonused onto the live broadcast. He has remained undefeated since and even showed off his Fortnite skills in a featured bout at Bellator 204.

Even though he’s a gamer at heart with the moves to match, Chinzo Machida is the man he wants to play, and he’s been calling for that fight since September.

Claxton recently spoke with about his fight at Bellator 212 and the response he’s received to his taunt from Bellator 204 going viral on social media.

“A lot of my youth wrestlers and the wrestlers at the high school that I’m coaching at — (they) all asked me question, ‘What was going through your head?’ It was like, ‘Oh, I’ll hit him with the Fortnite dance and make him get up’ because I knew he was gonna butt scoot. You know, it just kind of came out. I did it joking around in practice (before the fight) and it just kind of manifested itself and became a real life thing.”

Moments before our interview began Claxton received a new opponent when his first scheduled bout fell through. Kaeo Meyer (3-3) stepped up late to fill in for this fight.

“My new opponent is Kaeo Meyer, he is a 155 pounder, and he’s a local Hawaiian. He agreed to fight on a couple of weeks notice, I agreed to fight him on a couple weeks notice.”

Given that his last opponent missed weight, I asked Claxton if he had any concerns about Meyer making the 145 (and one pound allowance) limit on short notice.

“You know I wasn’t worried about (Cris) Lencioni missing weight, and he missed weight and we knew we were fighting for four or five weeks, you know what I mean? {*laughing*} That Hawaiian culture you know, I think he’ll man up and make weight just like I have to man up and make weight in two weeks, so it’s a little different. He’s coming down from 155, so he’ll be naturally bigger, and I don’t have to cut as much getting down to 45. I feel like for both of us, fighting on two weeks notice, that’s fair and I think he’ll man up and make it and I’ll make it and we’ll get after it.”

It’s hard to say how much bigger Meyer will be since his vital statistics weren’t available at press time, but Claxton says it doesn’t make a difference once that cage door shuts.

“You know I train with bigger guys all the time, I wrestler with bigger guys, I strike with bigger boxers, bigger kickboxers, things of that nature. The weight doesn’t really matter to me that much, but I am a 145 pounder for a reason. I wrestled 149 in college and was a little undersized and 145 is just the right weight class for me. Yes, he’ll have a little size, but I’ll definitely have some speed so it’ll be an interesting match up for sure.”

Despite being “natural” at 145 pounds, Claxton says he wouldn’t rule out taking a fight higher up if the zeroes on the check justified the decision.

“You’ll never hear me say something is too much for me {*laughing*} that just ain’t in my character to admit that! But the incentives have to be right, you know? The money has to be right and the fight has to be right. I fight 145 (and) I walk around at 159. So for me to fight 155 is (only) four pounds — most of those guys are cutting from 185. So like I said the match up would have to be right, and even if the match up wasn’t right the money would have to be right. You can only fight for so long.”

The weight cutting itself can shorten careers as Bellator fighters like Chidi Njokuani will attest to. Does Claxton have any concerns about dangerous weight cuts in the sport?

“People are competitive. If you can get down to a certain weight then you’re going to want to fight at that weight if it gives you an advantage. No matter how well you cut weight et cetera et cetera how well your diet is, dehydration is a part of the weight cut. What it comes down to is understanding how to cut weight, understanding the body of nutrition, understanding how much you can lift, what kind of lifts you can do so that your muscle mass isn’t too much. Understanding how to properly dehydrate yourself and then properly hydrate yourself back up. I think that the problem right now is that a lot of people are cutting weight but they don’t honestly know how to cut weight the right way!”

I’m not sure there’s any right way when your kidneys shut down but that’s neither here nor there for a catch weight both fighters should make. That said how prepared is Claxton to face Kaeo Meyer when he’s had barely any time to scout him?

“I looked at one of his fights. He’s fought three or four times this year, none of them were online, and the only fights that were online were a couple of amateur fights. With that being said I am going to rely on the strength of what I’ve been doing and trust in myself. At the end of the day my gameplan doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter who my opponent is. My goal is to go out there and impose my will on him.”

Watch Tywan Claxton attempt to do exactly that at Bellator 212 “Salute the Troops” on December 14th, live on Paramount and the American Forces Network.

Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “Salute the Troops” resides here at MMA Mania all week long.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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