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Wilson Reis: My Goal Is to Beat Joe Soto

Former EliteXC 140-pound champion Wilson Reis will enter Bellator's season two featherweight tournament for another chance at the promotion's title and six-figure prize.

In an interview below with MMA Fighting, Reis of BJJ United and Tri-State Martial Arts talks about his upset loss in the semifinals last season to eventual champion Joe Soto, his next fight in April and his plans later in the year to fight for Sengoku.

Ray Hui: How does it feel to get another shot at the featherweight tournament again?
Wilson Reis: I'm very excited and I'm very thankful to Bellator for inviting me again and re-signing me for the second season. I look forward to it. I want to get back in the tournament and win this tournament. Lots of top guys in the division. I'd like to run through everybody and get a title shot at the champion, Joe Soto.

What's more important to you: To win the belt or to avenge your loss to Joe Soto?
For me, my goal, definitely, is to beat Joe Soto and get the title from him. So far he's my only loss. I want to get my revenge against him, but I cannot forget that on my way to Joe Soto, there's three top opponents. I'm definitely going to keep him in my mind, because that's who I want to fight and I want to defeat him, but first I have to think about the three guys I have to face on my way to him.

Do you know who your first opponent is and when you are going to fight?
Not really. I know I'm supposed to fight on the first week of April 8, but nothing confirmed.

Of the names announced so far (Joe Warren, Georgi Karakhanyan, William Romero, Patricio Pitbull, Bao Quach), is there anyone in particular you're interested in fighting?
They are all very well known fighters, but no one particular. But everyone is a tough fight. They are good fighters. I can't be picking. (Any of them is) definitely going to be a tough opponent and a good fight.

As a favorite coming in last year, did you feel pressured to win?
For me it wasn't a shame to lose to (Joe Soto). He had the right strategy. He had the better gameplan and he beat me, but there wasn't any pressure. I came to fight, was in good shape and he just had a better strategy.

Are you under contract with Sengoku?
I never signed with Sengoku.

They announced you to fight on the March 7 Sengoku 12 card.
I was talking to Sengoku to fight in the second semester. They asked me to fight on March 7 so I asked Bellator if it was possible and they said no. I told Sengoku I couldn't fight for Sengoku in March. I think, maybe they announced my name by accident or something. Even though I'm not able to fight there in March, I look forward to fighting in second (half of the year in Japan).

What can we expect different from you in season two from season one?
I feel I'm a lot better as far as striking and ground pound. Overall as a fighter, I think I'm a lot better.