Johnny Eblen Details the Reason Behind His One-Year Hiatus Ahead of Bellator 250 Return

Oct 29, 2020

Johnny Eblen has trained extensively for leg locks in preparation for his next fight.

On Oct. 29, Eblen (6-0) will lock horns with Taylor Johnson at the upcoming Bellator 250 event. That night, Eblen will put his unblemished record on the line against the Dana White’s Contender Series vet. While talking with Sherdog, the 28-year old fighter revealed that he had to take a more than a year-long hiatus due to a knee injury.

"After my last fight, I went back in training and ended up tweaking my knee and ended up that I needed knee surgery. Then COVID hit at the same time. It was kind of a blessing in disguise. It's not really a blessing because it is a horrible thing to happen, but it just all happened at the same time. I'm happy that it didn't happen during a time when I was healthy and able to fight, and then they close everything down, and I'm just sitting here ready to fight, and I can't work."

The last time he stepped into the cage, Eblen upended Mauricio Alonso at the end of their Bellator 229 encounter.

"I came out, and I showed my grit and my endurance in that fight. I kept a high pace for three rounds. That dude was banking on me gassing in the third. After the fight, I think he spoke with my coach King Mo about it. [Alonso] was like, 'Yeah, our plan was to let him gas out and then get him at the end of the second or in the third round.' I kind of proved in that fight that I have a good gas tank and that I can keep a very high pace fight through three rounds. I showed my grit because I got caught a bit at the end of the third, but I pushed through it, and I ended up on top and got my hand raised."

Eblen also spoke about his preparation for his upcoming fight, confessing that he trained his submission defense skills in leg lock drills given that Johnson scored a highlight first-round submission victory in his latest bout against Ed Ruth.

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