Recapping With Carey Vanier - I Think I Am A Threat
by Brent Todd - 02-03-2010
Carey Vanier is just one of eight fighters to participate in Bellator's second season lightweight tournament. He is hopeful that he will be able to win not only his first fight, but all three fights for a shot at current Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. MMA Recap's (www.mmarecap.com
) Brent Todd caught up with the lightweight fighter to get his thoughts on the Bellator tournament, his life inside the TapouT house and more.
Vanier's story starts out a lot different than most. To him it is a story worth telling. "I think it is a cool story. I watched a local fight here in Minneapolis with some of my friends from college. After the fight, they said "Hey we get paid to do this and most of these guys can't compete with you cause you were a wrestler". So I said if it is going to be that easy to earn money I figured why not. I took three fights and did well, and then my son was born. So I took some time off to lock down a job so I could provide my son with insurance and a stable income. Once my son turned five, I started fighting again. It was a slow transition from working full time to part time to finally quitting and training full time.
To say Vanier was excited when he found out he was going to participate in the tournament is an understatement. "What happened with me was I recently signed to a new manager, Gavin Rydell, and he contacted me when I came back to Minnesota after spending four plus months at Jackson's in New Mexico. And he presented this opportunity to possibly fight for Bellator. At the time I thought I wasn't sure as I didn't know if I had a good enough record and I was also giving consideration to trying to make my way into the WEC or even UFC. However I did like the idea of Bellator because some of the guys I trained with at Jackson's were speaking high praise for the promotion. So I told him to do his thing and that I would continue on training. So one morning I was at the gym and my manager sent me a bunch of text messages and called me a bunch, but I didn't pay attention as I was working out. After the workout the first message I saw said "We got Bellator". I started doing back flips and cartwheels in the middle of the Lifetime Fitness I was working out at.
As for who he wants to fight first, it doesn't matter. "There isn't anyone that I "want" to fight. I have wrestled my entire life and tournaments are second nature to me. You don't know who your opponent is in a tournament and you just have to be prepared for whatever is thrown in front of you. And besides I don't think that the fighter that you saw at the last fight will be the same that shows up.
The tournament poses some good things and some things that could pose a hindrance to the fighters. Vanier shares his thoughts on both aspects. "I love the idea of the tournament. All the other professional sports have a regular season and then a playoffs. And the format makes it so that any fringe fans of mma, can go to an event and know that this is a big deal. That the winner of this tournament gets his shot at the belt.
The only thing I can see as a bad aspect is the decision on how one gets into the tournament. There's no "regular season" for the fighters. I think Bellator should have a "regular season" with fighters and then based on records during this regular season, that's how the fighters are picked for the tournament.
He was very frank and confident when asked how he felt he matched up with the current champion. "I think I would be a threat for him. There isn't anyone I want to fight, but I am prepared for everyone. I am a well-rounded fighter. My defense is above most because you won't be able to take me down very easy. I think Eddie has a lot of good tools, but I believe that he has some chinks in his armor.