Not too long ago it appeared as if welterweight Ben Sergent was on his way out of MMA for good.
Sergent had stopped fighting and took up a coaching position, but he soon realized that it was not the right path for him. So earlier this year he returned to active competition, picking up a first round submission win at Warrior FC versus Valor Fights against Steve Bell in May.
“I felt for a little short time that I was retired and took it easy, but it was a mindset where I needed to clear my head and get right,” Sergent told MMAWeekly.com. “I felt ready again and I took a fight and I won in the first round. I got this opportunity and absolutely jumped over the idea.
“I realized that being a coach, I couldn’t give myself the opportunity to be successful. I’m not a good coach. I’m way too hard on myself and way, way, too hard on my students. Now I’m at a place where I have everything to successful.”
As he prepared to return to fighting, Sergent decided he needed to get back to what was successful him in the past so that he could keep moving forward with his career.
“Honestly, I want to get back to the old Ben; the Ben that fought as an amateur and was ready to rock in roll at any time at any moment,” said Sergent. “(My coach) said we’ll get you there, and sure enough he got me there. I’m a new and improved Ben. I’m in my prime and I’m mentally and physically there.”
Now that he’s back to fighting, Sergent (7-0) will face his most experienced opposition to date when he takes on Brandon Bell (7-6) in the 170-pound main event of Bellator’s show at the Bristol Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup this Saturday.
“I don’t really focus on the win too much,” Sergent said. “I focus on finishing. (Bell) said he wants to break me; break my body and break my spirit; it’s going to be a really tough task for him.
“He relies on his strength and relies on his muscle. Many fans have said this is brains versus brawn, with me being the brains and him being the brawn. It’s going to be an interesting match-up.”
For Sergent not only is Saturday’s event an opportunity to showcase on the biggest stage of his career, but he also views it as a way to attract the kind of support he needs to continue fighting.
“I’m going to go out there and put on a show as always,” said Sergent. “I’m going to perform. That’s what I do. I perform. After that we’ll talk business. I’d like to get this finish, make it a beautiful finish, and get some sponsors.”