Alex Polizzi plans to keep the pressure on Grant Neal at Bellator 266

September 17, 2021

Looking back on his first round submission win over Gustavo Trujillo at Bellator 260 this past June, light-heavyweight Alex Polizzi feels like there were both positives and negatives he can take from the fight.

While he liked that he was able to be aggressive in all positions, losing out on the wrestling exchanges were not ideal for Polizzi. Conversely even though he didn’t show a lot of striking against Trujillo, what he was able to show he is happy with.

“In the Gustavo fight there was keeping pressure on even while I was getting taken down or even while I was not staying on top the whole time; attacking from the bottom or attacking from the side; making him use extra energy to try to keep me down,” Polizzi told MMAWeekly.com. “Had we missed the arm bar it could have gotten to a decision and getting taken down never looks good on a score card.

“The few strikes that were thrown I thought went pretty well. We worked in training camp on our strikes and making sure we stay covered up and doing better. Even though it was maybe only two or three punches that were thrown I think they were pretty good punches.”

Coming off his first career loss in his previous bout, Polizzi was aware of how detrimental it could have been to have two straight defeats, but rather than focus on that for motivation he chose to make sure he was able to put the best performance on possible against Trujillo.

“If I said that the W’s and L’s don’t get to me I’d be a liar,” said Polizzi. “As a professional athlete you’re always thinking about the wins and loss columns, but I try not to focus on that. There’s always the next fight you’re starting with the 0-0 mentality.

“Still at the end of the day it’s akin to a game; there’s a lot more serious and important things in the world than a couple guys hitting each other in the cage. I’m out there to have fun, have a good time, and whether it’s a win or loss as long as I’m going out there and making sure I’m putting all the effort I can into a sport that I love that’s really what I’m there to do.”

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On September 18 in San Jose, California, Polizzi (8-1) will look to pick up his second straight win when he faces off against Grant Neal (6-0) in a preliminary 205-pound bout at Bellator 266.

“In terms as match-ups go I don’t know too much (about Neal), but I think my key to victory is what it always is: make sure I use our pressure to keep on him and making sure that we’re staying close, keeping it in tight quarters, keeping the pressure on and making sure our newly-found striking, dirty boxing, boxing, and Muay Thai, are complementing our wrestling and vise-versa,” Polizzi said.

Never one to focus too much on specific markers in front of him, for Polizzi just improving himself as a fighter and a person as well as being ready for any opportunities that come his way are the biggest things to him in the remainder of 2021.

“We’re just going to keep on keeping on and if something comes up, it comes up, we’re just trying to become a better fighter every day,” said Polizzi.