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Matt Bessette Plans on Finishing Diego Nunes at Bellator 110

Matt Bessette Plans on Finishing Diego Nunes at Bellator 110

Bellator’s tenth season is upon us, and they are kicking things off with Bellator 110 at Mohegan Sun Arena on February 28th First up for this season’s tournaments are the featherweights.  One fighter looking to make a huge splash is Hartford, Connecticut native Matt Bessette, who is taking on UFC/WEC veteran Diego Nunes in the opening round.  Bessette last fought at Bellator 98 in September, and won via first-round TKO against Nick Piedmont.  I spoke to Matt on my podcast, The MMA Word, about the fight, his training camp, and where he got the nickname ‘The Mangler’.

On when he found out he’d be in the tournament:

“I’ve known since right after my December fight that I was going to be in the tournament, so I was keeping it hush hush for like four or five months, which was really difficult.”

On when he found out it would be against Nunes:

“Not until about a month, month and a half ago probably.  I think we both found out right around the same time.” 

The origin of his nickname ‘The Mangler’:

“It was before my first fight.  I used to train in [Kip Collar’s] basement, before I was even in a school or anything like that.  And he’s like ‘We have to figure out a nickname for you’, and I’m like ‘whatever you want’, and he came up with ‘The Mangler’.  It’s kind of funny because when I was in college, one of my friends came up to me , his name was Jarrod Cotton, he just randomly  came up to me and he said ‘What’s up Mangler?’, and I said ‘wait, what did you call me?’.  He said ‘that’s your nickname if you ever became a fighter.’ “

Thoughts on his training camp for this fight:

“[Training has been] Excellent.  I’ve been ready for over a month now.  I train at Underdog BJJ in Hartford, Connecticut, as well as places like Tri-Force MMA and New England Combat in Providence.  I go to Fighting Arts Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts, with Nick Newell.  I travel around, I go to Carlos Neto BJJ outside of Boston, so I get around.” 

On being prepared for the tournament schedule:

“After every one of my fights, I usually jump in there, back into training, on Monday if I can, unless I’m broken or sore or whatever.  I jump right back into training if I can, so it plays in to who I am perfectly, this kind of tournament schedule.” 

On whether or not he has the toughest fight in the opening round of the tournament:

 “Probably, yeah.  Stylistically probably not though.  He’s not going to try to smother me with wrestling, which can be a difficult fight if you’re fighting a high level wrestler who just wants to close the distance and smother you on top.  But, that’s not Diego’s kind of fight.  He’s probably the most experienced out of everybody, because he’s been in the UFC plenty of times, and the WEC and all that.  Stylistically, it’s not a difficult match-up for me.  It actually plays in to where I’m comfortable so, it should be a banger.” 

His thoughts on having extra nerves ahead of such a big fight:

 “Kind of, not really.  It’s all a fight.  Once I get in there it’s all the same thing.  Leading up to the fight, you think about what could happen all the time.  If he does this, If I do this.  I think I might be thinking a little bit more, but that’s only a good thing.  It keeps me on my toes.”

How he sees the fight playing out: 

“I foresee hurting him in the first round.  And in the second round, finish him.”