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Javy Ayala considers Frank Mir a ‘dream fight,’ promises ‘exciting’ Bellator 212 co-main event

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Javy Ayala interview

Bellator 212: “Salute the Troops” goes down this Friday night (Dec. 14, 2018) at Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. Brent Primus (8-0) will defend his Lightweight title in a rematch against “Iron” Michael Chandler (18-4) in the main event for a show with free admission for all armed forces (and members and their families).

Earlier on the Paramount Network-televised main card, two Heavyweights look to bang as former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion, Frank Mir (18-12), will look to snap a three-fight losing streak against “Eye Candy” Javy Ayala (10-7). Mir certainly has both the size (6’3”, 261 lbs., 79” reach) and skills (black belts in both Kempo karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu) to turn things around in a hurry. He’s long been regarded as one of the best submission artists to fight in the Heavyweight division in any promotion.

Ayala isn’t about to roll over and give up his back for Mir, though. He may give up a little size at 6’1” with a 76” reach, but he’s submitted four and knocked out five of his 10 wins, including a very surprising and quick finish of Sergei Kharitonov.

MMAmania.com recently spoke with “Eye Candy” about his plans to finish Frank Mir and how stunning it was to beat “The Russian Mercenary” Kharitonov in just 16 seconds.

“I knew exactly who he was, I knew who he’s fought and who he’d beaten, so I was excited about going into it. Thankfully I had great coaches, we devised a great plan, that punch that I threw was actually something we were working on for a long time. We knew that he was open for that and sure enough it worked — it worked perfect!”

That victory has kept Ayala’s name in the mix, so even after back to back losses to Roy “Big Country” Nelson and Cheick Kongo, he still came up as the next opponent for Frank Mir.

“You know what? I’m very excited about it. I’ve been a big fan of his since I started my MMA career. People used to ask me ‘Oh who’s your favorite fighter?’ and I would tell ‘em ‘Frank Mir.’ So whenever I got the call with this opportunity to get in the cage with him I was stoked about it. I was like ‘Yeah, for sure, I can’t wait!’”

Of course there was no guarantee Mir was coming back after the punishing blows of Fedor Emelianenko, but deep in his heart Ayala was sure Mir would return.

“I knew he would want to come back right away. I feel like he took a long layoff (before Emelianenko), and that’s something that could have effected him in his performance. Frank’s a tough guy and we all know that he can compete with some of the best in the world, so I knew he would be back from that (loss).”

At 39 years old the clock is ticking for Mir with or without a two year suspension by USADA, but the younger (30) Ayala is sure that Mir is a better fighter now than he was in April.

“Yeah you’re going to get a better Frank Mir, you’ll even get a better Javier Ayala, and you’re going to get a great exciting fight.”

Ayala could have also had an exciting fight as a Heavyweight Grand Prix alternate, but since he was never called upon for that role, he views Mir as a way to reassert his divisional rank.

“You know what? I feel now they’re down to the finals, and these guys — Bader and Fedor — they’re the best in the world. Obviously they’re in the position they’re at, but I feel like getting a win over Frank would definitely keep me right there in that contention. I’ve never really been afraid to step in and fight anybody at any time, I guess that’s just the way I grew up.”

In a division that was largely overlooked and under promoted before the Grand Prix started, Ayala recognizes his role as a Heavyweight leader given his five plus year tenure in Bellator.

“Yeah you know I’ve been with Bellator a long time, (it’s) a great company. I’m really happy to be fighting for them and to have the opportunities that they’ve given me. Yeah I’m just here to fight whoever they want me to fight and work my way up and hopefully later on I get a shot at the winner of the tournament.”

Not only would a win over Mir help fulfill Ayala’s title aspirations, it would also be the realization of a life long dream to fight a man he views as among the all-time greatest.

“He’s been one of my favorites since I started my career so this is a big fight for me. I’m excited for it, I’m super pumped (and) this is probably I feel like one of my largest opportunities that I’ve gotten (in Bellator).”

Cheick Kongo was also huge opportunity Kongo’s five fight winning streak at the time, but one massive right hand at 2:29 of round one ended those dreams prematurely.

“You know what? I came in a little aggressive, a little over aggressive, I wasn’t really fighting like I fought when I fought against Roy. I was trying to rush things a little bit too much. I feel like he caught me good. He’s a big strong guy, he has a real good IQ, he seen an opening and he capitalized on it.”

That’s exactly what Ayala will be looking to do with Frank Mir on December 14th — seize an opening and capitalize on it — and then pay his respects to Mir when it’s all said and done.

“I’m going to tell him thank you for the great opportunity and making pretty much a dream come true to step in there with him.”

Hopefully “Eye Candy” Javy Ayala isn’t so awed by getting a fight with one of his idols that he forgets TO fight his idol. Find out on December 14th live from Honolulu, Hawaii!

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.