Just In Cris Lencioni challenges A.J. Agazarm to fight at Bellator Hawaii MMA Life

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If you ask Bellator featherweight Cris Lencioni to describe his past few months, the word “frustrating” comes to mind.

In October, Lencioni (5-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) declined to fight at Bellator 232 after former GLORY kickboxing champion Robin van Roosmalen missed the featherweight limit by nine pounds.

One month later, Lencioni still doesn’t have a fight booked. He’s hoping that changes soon. It’s been a frustrating experience, especially because he’s trying to map out plans to turn his gym, Sunshine Athletics & Fabiano Scherner Jiu-Jitsu in Canby, Ore., into a nonprofit organization.

“I don’t want to just be put on the bench and sitting around like a lot of my teammates,” Lencioni told MMA Junkie. “A lot of teammates just sat around for most of their contracts. Some of these other gyms, they get offers every (expletive) month. I’m not trying to be rude or anything like that. I just want one more opportunity. That’s all.”

With his Bellator contract expiring at the end of December, Lencioni is hoping to squeeze in one more fight. Hawaii, Japan, wherever: Lencioni just wants on a card. And he has a specific opponent in mind for his return.

“I think A.J. Agazarm is the best matchup to make,” Lencioni said. “Everyone thinks I’m this grappling submission guy. I don’t know his grappling credentials, but I know he’s pretty high up in the jiu-jitsu community for good and bad reasons.”

The idea of trash talk delights Lencioni, although he doesn’t really consider himself a trash-talker. The American Top Team Portland product admitted he enjoys having fun in the build-up to the fight and said Agazarm (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) would bring just that.

“I just like to joke around. I just like jokes,” Lencioni said. “I wouldn’t call me a (expletive)-talker, you know? I like to have fun. Some of these guys come in way too serious. We’re going to fight each other anyways. Why are we getting all uppity like we’ve got sticks up our butts?”

Agarzarm’s grappling credentials are well-documented, having won numerous national and international grappling tournaments from 2013-2017. In MMA however, Lencioni believes he could hang with Agazarm on the ground.

“All day,” Lencioni said. “Let’s take it to the ground. I’m not worried about it one bit. We come from the same style of jiu-jitsu. He’s not going to show me anything I haven’t seen.”

Three fights into his MMA career, Agazarm is riding a two-fight winning streak. However, the 29-year-old hasn’t faced an opponent with Lencioni’s experience.

What’s the best direction for Agazarm? How about a fight to determine the “best hair in Bellator?” That’s what Lencioni is proposing.

“Are they trying to build him as contender or ‘Mr. Cool, everyone watch me?’” Lencioni asked. “Because everyone likes watching me. We’re not fighting for a belt, but we’re going to be (expletive) exciting dude.

“We could be fighting for the best hair in the featherweight division. I think my hair game is on point. I think his hair is pretty wild, too.”

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