South Dakota’s Logan Storley is all set to return to action on home soil in Sioux falls at Bellator 298, and the former interim welterweight champion said he’s laser-focused on doing everything he needs to do to return to the top of the Bellator welterweight division.

Storley gets the chance to compete close to home as he features in the main event against hard-hitting contender Brennan Ward on Friday night, and “Storm” admitted that the chance to fight in his home state means just that little bit extra as he prepares for action this weekend.

“I think it’s a special opportunity,” Storley told reporters during media day in Sioux Falls.

“At first, when I first started coming back home for fights, it was a bit more pressure. But now, at the highest level, how many fighters get to fight in their hometowns? So, I’m excited to go out there and put on a show for these fans. It’s nice to come home and put on a show for the people who’ve supported you.

“When I just started thinking about MMA as a kid playing around, when Brock Lesnar was a huge star, I don’t know if I could have imagined that (I’d be fighting at this level) as a young kid. But when I got done with college, I knew that I had the skills to go out and be the best in the sport.”

Storley faces off against Brennan Ward, who has made an explosive return to the sport after a long layoff. Storley said he recognizes what Ward brings to the table but is ready to use his wrestling to take the noted knockout artist off his feet and into deep water during the bout.

“You have to know what you’re going in against. He’s an athletic, explosive guy. He’s gonna go out there and be aggressive every time,” he explained.

“From wrestling to now, I’m a competitor. You have to put together a game plan. After the Amovsov fight, I took a long look in the mirror, asked myself the hard questions, and I’m excited to prove that I’ve done that.

“For me, it’s that each matchup is different. When I fought (Neiman) Gracie, I stood for 25 minutes. When I fought MVP (Michael Page), I took him down. I fight the best guys in the world. I put myself in my positions. That’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna get my positions and do what I need to do.”

Storley is now a seasoned main event fighter, and he said that experience of preparing for, and competing in, five-round fights could prove crucial against Ward on Friday night.

“I just got done with three 25-minute fights. That’s 75 minutes in the cage. That’s a long time, competing against the top guys in the world,” he said.

“It’s tough, but I’ve been in there and I’ve done it. I don’t think anyone’s made him wrestle really hard. At the end of the day, it’s fighting, but when that doesn’t happen, then you’re gonna find out who can dig deep. I’m gonna bring the fight to him and we’re gonna find out who can push harder for longer.”

Ultimately, Storley wants to return to the top of the division and, still ranked as the number-one contender, the former interim champion said it should take no more than a couple of strong performances to put him back where he wants to be.

“I think it’s gonna probably take two good victories and being dominant,” he suggested.

“Brennan’s right there. We can all beat each other, but he’s a problem for a lot of guys. I didn’t want to sit on the shelf and wait and wait and wait. To go out there put on a dominant performance on a guy like that, it sends a message.

“For me, I’ve got to get back to my finishes. That’s a statement. That’s why I’m ranked No. 1. I’ve got to go out there, put on a pace, make it exciting, and get the win.”