Conor McGregor Training Partner Ion Pascu Looking to Make Mark vs. Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 207

SBG Ireland representative Ion Pascu
feels his time has finally come.

The 36-year-old fighter has stepped up to face Lorenz
Larkin
at
Bellator 207
after a rib injury forced Erick Silva
to pull out of the Bellator welterweight grand prix alternate bout.
Pascu also made his Bellator debut on short notice, losing a
unanimous decision to undefeated prospect and fellow grand prix
entrant Ed
Ruth
this past April.

“I signed earlier this year a four-bout contract with Bellator,”
Pascu told Sherdog.com “I have already imagined my path in there. I
am going to win this fight, enter the welterweight grand prix,
smack all the other guys, then take home the belt. This is America,
land of all opportunities, I am here to take mine.”

“The Bombardier” had another (undisclosed) fight scheduled for this
fall, so he was already in shape and ready to fight, even though he
took the fight against Larkin on a couple of weeks’ notice.

“I was already training,” Pascu said. “I had another fight
scheduled later this year. I’ve helped Conor
McGregor
in the preparation of his fight against Khabib
Nurmagomedov
, then I went home for a couple of weeks. I kept on
staying light and in good shape. When I received the call, I
answered immediately yes.”

The Romanian fighter had been helping McGregor prepare for his
fight against Khabib
Nurmagomedov
at UFC 229. During one of a particularly hard
sparring session, he saw one of his teeth flying out of his mouth
after taking a shot from “The Notorious.”

“I’ve sparred with Conor
McGregor
, helping him both with striking and wrestling,” Pascu
added. “We had some good sparring sessions at SBG. As you already
know, a tooth of mine became embedded in McGregor’s knuckle. It was
fun, he is a great guy and a great athlete. I think that he will do
so much better when he will get his rematch. Nurmagomedov was the
better man that night, but what we saw wasn’t the real Notorious. I
don’t want to comment what happened after the match. It’s a shame
for our sport to watch someone sucker punching an athlete from
behind.”

Both Larkin and Pascu are coming off a victory in their last match.
Larkin scored his first Bellator win against Fernando
Gonzalez
last January. Pascu won his last fight outside
Bellator by besting Alex Lohore
in the main event of BAMMA 35.

“I like to study my opponents,” Pascu said. “When I step into the
cage, my shots have to follow a specific pattern. I am very aware
of what are my strengths and my opponent’s weaknesses. I don’t like
to be surprised once I’m inside the cage. John
Kavanagh
will be in my corner as usual. He had been busy lately
with Conor’s match, but he managed to find a little time for me and
he gave me a couple of precious counsels in the preparation for
this fight.”

Pascu knows that he will have a whole country behind him. There are
not many Romanian fighters that can pride themselves to be fighting
at these levels, in a Bellator main card. Pascu is aware of this,
and wants to live it as long as it lasts.

“This will be the most important fight a Romanian MMA fighter has
ever been into,” he said. “I have my experiences, my main events
and other stuff. It’s not like I have emotions, but I am aware of
the importance of this bout. Larkin is a very experienced guy, he
fought in Strikeforce, UFC and Bellator. I am going to give him the
toughest fight of his career. I’ve waited all my life to have this
chance and I want to squeeze it.”

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