Logan Storley isn’t interested in starting some UFC vs. Bellator debate. But in his mind, he’s about to battle for the top spot in the welterweight division across any promotion.
Part of the reason he feels that way comes down to the admiration that Storley has for his upcoming opponent, Yaroslav Amosov, who is the only fighter to hand him a defeat in his 15-fight career. Meanwhile, Amasov sports a perfect 26-0 résumé that includes a win over Douglas Lima, which crowned him Bellator welterweight champion.
That adds up to 40 wins and only one loss between them, and Storley can’t imagine a much better résumé than that, especially after sharing the cage with Amosov previously.
“I knew that after that first fight, we were going to see each other again,” Storley told MMA Fighting. “I know that this [rematch] isn’t the end of the road for me and him. What a great competitor to have. Me and him — I truly, truly, truly believe we are the top two welterweights in the world.”
Amosov has largely run roughshod over the competition in Bellator save for that split decision over Storley back in 2020.
The back-and-forth battle brought the best out of both of them, with Storley crediting Amosov as the fighter who forced him to realize he still had a lot to learn.
“It was after that mid-second [round] and there was a big scramble and we kind of both bit down, and I feel like that’s when I changed a lot as a fighter,” Storley explained. “In that second round, when I realized I couldn’t get to my takedown as easy as I have in past other fights, and bite down on the mouthpiece, going forward and throwing as hard as I can and knowing how hard that fight was.
“That’s the biggest takeaway I had. We’re going to get in a real dog fight here and we’re going to figure it out.”
The split decision was a hard pill to swallow, but Storley never called it a robbery.
Instead, he took a very long drive back home from Florida to South Dakota with nothing but the fight against Amosov to pore over in his mind, but that time to reflect allowed him to dissect what went right and what went wrong so he could make the necessary adjustments for next time.
“That was during COVID so I drove home, took a little time, and that was a long car ride of 25 hours,” Storley said. “So there was a lot of thinking that went on during that car ride. Just by myself and figuring out what I have to change.
“When I got ready to go again, you have to put it in the past and learn from it. I changed a lot of things and had a lot of things written down about what I didn’t do right. Now the last three fights, I know exactly what I need to do. It was a great learning process. You want it back, of course.”
Since that fight, Storley has gone 3-0, including his split decision win over Michael “Venom” Page to become Bellator interim welterweight champion.
Sadly, Amosov hasn’t been able to stay as active after beating Lima because the Russian invasion into his native Ukraine forced the 29-year-old fighter to move his family out of the country before he returned to fight for his home.
As he resumes his career, Amosov is understandably anxious to defend his title, while Storley is more than ready to get his revenge.
“He knows I’m much better,” Storley said. “He went and beat [Douglas] Lima and won the title and we haven’t seen him since, but I expect him to be better and I know I’m better.
“I’ve been in the cage for two 25-minute fights. The [Neiman] Gracie fight, 25 minutes standing up, and then the MVP [Michael ‘Venom’ Page] fight, just a tricky guy to find his rhythm. I’ve put in the time and I know where I’m at, especially with the training partners I have. I continue to get better and I’m excited to get to show it.”
Becoming undisputed champion would also be a first for Storley after he was a four-time All-American wrestler in college but never captured an NCAA title. He has a piece of gold right now with the interim belt, but claiming the undisputed title would mean the world to Storley, especially with the chance to go up against Amosov again.
“I’ve been wrestling since I was five years old. That’s 25 years of competing,” Storley said. “The MVP fight, that was getting over that hump [to win a title]. I didn’t get over it in my NCAA career. To have gold and to now avenge this loss and really stamp my name as undisputed champion and get another belt. I’m going to show so on Saturday that I’m the best welterweight in the world.”