Four straight wins have Connecticut native Matt “Mangler” Bessette riding high into this season’s Bellator featherweight tournament.
Bessette chalks up his success to the fact that he knows what works for him as a fighter and he’s sticking to it.
“Recently the stuff that’s been working for me is the stuff that I do in training all the time, which is coming forward, being aggressive and basically less game planning and more getting in your face, stay in your face and make you uncomfortable,” he told MMAWeekly.com.
“Part of the game is mental preparation and there is a chess match going on, but for the most part it’s instinct and you do what you’re good at, and what I’m good at is putting the fight in the other guy’s face.”
As aggressive as he is normally, Bessette’s winning streak has also given him cause to ramp things up in training as three of his four wins came via decision rather than finish.
“I’ve been working on tightening up my submission game and being really aggressive from everywhere,” he said.
“There was a point where I got really frustrated because I wasn’t finishing guys. The higher level of guys you fight, should you be able to finish them? Yes and no, but I should be training to finish those better guys.”
This Friday, Bessette (12-4) will get an opportunity to showcase his skills in front of a hometown type crowd when he takes on UFC vet Diego Nunes (18-5) at Bellator 110 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.
“I’m very excited to fight Diego,” said Bessette. “He’s an outstanding fighter and competitor. He’s been at the top before and that’s where I’m going right now.
“To put it bluntly, I’m excited to fight a guy like that and beat him. To beat him I just have to be better than him everywhere. I’ve trained for that and I’m prepared for that and am ready to do it.”
In what is one of the deepest fields of fighters for any tournament in Bellator’s history, Bessette’s focus is firmly on Nunes and not looking to possible match-ups down the line.
“They are all very high-class, outstanding fighters and game opponents, but I’m not fighting the second round before I fight the first round,” he said. “I’m not looking past the first round, especially against a guy like Diego.”