Bellator 180's 'Sadistic' Sadee Williams relishes underdog role vs. Keri-Ann Melendez
Video by Eric Holden

"Sadistic" Sadee Williams has heard all the whispers from the MMA community, that her bout at Bellator 180 is nothing more than a spotlight fight for her opponent -- California striker Keri-Ann Melendez. She knows Bellator wants to give the 33-year-old kickboxing legend a marketing push in the months and years ahead. But she's not about to let it happen under her watch.

With so much hype surrounding the surging "Skrap Pack" talent, a lot of fans and media members are pegging Williams as heavy underdog for her Madison Square Garden bout on June 24.. In an exclusive interview, "Sadistic" told AXS she's fine with taking on that role. The underdog tag sits just fine with her.

She knows she'll have the hometown crowd behind her, and plans to leave her heart and soul out in the cage. "This opportunity came about because of Louis Neglia, so I owe him everything. I'm excited," Williams said. "This was one of my dreams. I always said I wanted to be on UFC or Bellator, and fight at the 'Garden,' close to my hometown. This is beyond amazing.

"Being the underdog is cool to me. A lot of people expect the worst outcome. I know she is an amazing fighter. I know exactly what I'm walking into, but I'm from Jersey City, N.J. If you know anything about New Jersey, it's a tough area. I'm here to have fun, put on a great show and show her she's in my home now."

Williams has watched some footage on Melendez. She is well aware of her knockout power, but vows to not be intimidated come fight night. "I'm no walk in the park," Williams stated. "I saw she knocked out her last opponent, but my chin is very strong. I'm always ready to fight, no matter who they put in front of me. That's why they call me 'Sadistic."