Following a defeat in his pro MMA debut two years ago, welterweight prospect Gary Balletto Jr. was able to turn things around and currently he finds himself on a three-fight winning streak.
Not only has Balletto managed win his last three bouts, but he’s picked up three first round finishes, including his first fight of 2017 where he got a 72-second submission win over Chris Torres at CES 42.
“I finally feel like I’m getting into that comfort zone in the cage,” Balletto told MMAWeekly.com. “Not having so much experience and not doing amateurs, I’m finally getting that comfort that I’ve been looking for.
“(The win over Torres) was very quick. It wasn’t too much to learn from in there. I landed a good right hand, he was hurt, he wrapped up, we hit the floor, a couple quick slams for the crowd and a quick kneebar. It’s good to have those submission wins under my belt.”
Balletto directly correlates his recent success with the changes he made when he lost his debut to Anthony Giacchina in August of 2015.
“I did good in the first round but then spent the next 10 minutes in mount, so I made it through, but I learned a lot in that fight and it helped me prepare for these next three that I’ve had,” said Balletto. “I’ve really sharpened up my ground game and created a whole new style. I’m a completely different fighter than I was two years ago.”
Balletto (3-1) will be gunning for his fourth straight win when he takes on Nick Alley (3-1) in a main card 170-pound bout at CES 45 on Friday in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
“He seems very well-rounded,” Balletto said of Alley. “He’s not a one-dimensional fighter.
“I don’t exactly come in with the perfect game plan, because sometimes that goes out the window almost immediately. Like anything else, it’s a process and you see if they give you any openings and you react from there. I’m comfortable wherever we go.”
Expecting a child with his wife at the start of 2018, Balletto would like to remain active in 2017 before taking time to prepare for the addition to his family.
“I’d like to start moving a little quicker at this point in my career now,” said Balletto. “The next (CES) show is in October, and as long as I’m healthy I’ll be on that card. I’ll probably take the winter off and then probably come back at the beginning of next year.”