Luke Trainer looking to bring 'the most violence I can possibly bring' at Bellator 281
English light heavyweight prospect Luke Trainer is back from shoulder surgery and ready to put on a show on home soil at Bellator 281 in London.
Luke Trainer had a night to remember the last time Bellator were in London. Now they're back, and so is "The Gent," who plans to serve up his own brand of good vibes outside of the cage, and savagery inside it.
Trainer finished Yannick Bahati at Wembley Arena last year, then went under the knife for surgery on both shoulders. His recovery put a stop to his hopes of making a quick turnaround to compete Stateside in his next bout. But now he's fully fit and ready to return to Wembley on Friday night against Simon Biyong.
The plan may have changed but, as he explained at media day ahead of Bellator 281 this weekend, the Trainer is happy things have turned out the way they did.
"I'm glad I'm here. The original plan was to get into the States quick after the last fight. And then I had the surgery and that kind of postponed things," he explained.
"So, once the Wembley card got put forward, I was so down. Back to Wembley, back to home soil. Yeah, there's plenty of time to get out to the States. But yeah, fighting at home."
Trainer's appearance on the London card last year was a bona-fide success. He won over the local media with his infectiously upbeat, respectful personality, then won over the fans with his crowd-pleasing fighting style.
It marked him out as a hot prospect and, with Bellator renowned for building its own stars, Trainer said he's certainly enjoying the platform the promotion is giving him so early in his career.
"I can feel the love for sure," he said.
"They're not feeding me – they're not giving me any easy matchups, but I've asked for that. I want to earn my salary.
"I just signed my second contract. And the money that are paying me, for me is life-changing. So I expect to earn that salary. I don't want any bums. I don't want any cans.
"Simon Biyong is a savage. I only want savages. I want to prove I'm the most savage in this division. So Bellator are doing me a favour by putting me on the stag, but I'm earning everything that they're giving to me."
In addition to a chunkier paycheque for his fights and increased exposure on big fight cards, Trainer also hopes to be able to persuade Bellator to get involved in his venture outside of the cage as an ambassador for foster carers in the U.K.
"I'd love to. I think I need to establish a bigger platform in Bellator to get them on board," he said.
"I've just become the official ambassador for Foster Network in the U.K. which is like the beacon for foster carers. (It's for) Anyone who works in that care world to go there and learn from the people who work in that establishment and then see how they can help vulnerable children of the U.K.
"Being an ambassador for that company, I feel like now I've got a much bigger reach for the U.K. and in bringing companies like Bellator in, that'd be amazing, just add to the fuel. So yeah, it'd be cool."
But for now, Trainer's focus is fixed on Biyong, a former EFC light heavyweight champion whose run of four straight knockout victories came to an end on his Bellator debut last year when he was outpointed by Christian Edwards.
It's a tough matchup for Trainer, who knows that he faces a difficult task to eclipse his performance against Bahati, another former EFC champ, last time out.
"I don't want to put any pressure on myself by topping that," he admitted.
"For me right now, I've got a war on Friday. It's a battle of who's the most savage. All I've got to worry about is bringing the most violence I can possibly bring, and that's it.
"I'm not worried about the outcome. All I can control is me being as violent as physically possible.
"The man is a savage. He has a great record, he's beat good opponents, he's lost to very good opponents. And yeah, this is going to be a war.
"This is absolutely my hardest fight. I believe I will finish him, but this is going to be a war."
Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA