In the grind that can be sports, it’s easy to understand if someone loses motivation and ends up just going through the motions. For Bellator heavyweight Mike Wessel, that was the case when he lost to Scott Barrett in January of last year.
“I realized that I didn’t care as much as I needed to,” said Wessel. “My heart and motivation wasn’t in it, and that was my biggest factor in winning any fight. My heart and my desire to succeed is one of my biggest assets, and I kind of lost that with Scott and was just doing it for a paycheck and I didn’t like that.”
Wessel took some time off and surrounded himself with a support system of good people, and has since reeled off two wins in a row.
“The fight against Matt (Kovacs) was a good fight to re-introduce myself and this last fight against Ryan Martinez was a performance that showed I could go the distance, go hard and I can keep things moving,” said Wessel.
“I think Bellator respected that and saw that I’m a guy that takes this seriously and gave me another shot.”
“He’s got great hands and good athleticism, so the key for me is to use inside boxing and not let him control the fight,” said Wessel of Hale. “I can’t let him run around and control the cage. On the ground he is very sneaky, so I have to be very focused and aware of what he’s doing.
“If I get in close and I’m able to stay inside to where his reach won’t matter, I really think I have a very good shot of putting him against the cage and taking him down and finishing him there or knocking him out.”
Getting the opportunity to be part of the heavyweight tournament and control his own destiny is something that Wessel is extremely thankful for, especially following a brief and disappointing stint in the UFC four years ago.
As Wessel told MMAWeekly.com, not many people get a second chance to make a huge impact in their career.
“I kind of screwed up in the past,” said Wessel. “I wasn’t mature enough or wasn’t into the right things or chose the right people to be around myself. I’m putting my best effort forward and win, lose or draw, I know I’ve done everything I can to be successful.
“Of course I want to win, of course I want to win a belt because I’ve always been the runner-up, the second place guy throughout my career, and I want to know what it’s like to be a champion and show people that I belong.”
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