DeAnna Bennett expecting a ‘whole new fight’ in rematch with Justine Kish at Bellator 284

August 10, 2022

Looking back at her win over Justine Kish at Bellator 274 in February, flyweight DeAnna Bennett feels that it wasn’t just good to kick her year off with a victory, but coming back off of a potentially career-threatening situation and just to be able to fight again was a big thing.

Following Bennett’s win over Alejandra Lara at Bellator 265 in September of last year, her career could have come to a halt due to an illness that could have taken one of appendages and possibly permanently damaged others.

“In November of last year I ended up very sick and was in the hospital for nine days and almost lost my foot and thought I had irreparable damage in my hand,” Bennett told MMAWeekly.com. “The doctors told me that I might lose my foot and never fight again, so to go out there and get that win it felt great.

“To be myself and do what I know I can do was amazing. I loved every second of that fight (against Kish in February).”

Returning to fighting and picking up a win wasn’t the only big happening for Bennett in 2022. Following the victory over Kish, Bennett made a move to a new team and feels it’s been paying off in training since.

“Coming off that win in February I’ve made a lot of changes since then,” said Bennett. “I actually uprooted from New Jersey to Philadelphia and joined the Gracie/Marquez team.

“It’s an amazing room to be in. They push me every single day. I get to train side-by-side with these amazing people every day, and they push me, so it’s made the best fighter I’ve ever been.”

This Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Bennett (12-7-1) will look to pick up her third win in a row when she rematches Kish (8-5) in a preliminary 125-pound bout at Bellator 284.

“Honestly I don’t want to compare it to the last fight,” Bennett said. “I have people saying that I already beat (Kish), so I know how to beat her and I can do it again, but I know personally for myself I can be a different fighter, I want to continue to evolve and be a better fighter, and I feel she does as well, so I’m taking it as a completely different independent new fight.

“I expect her to come out with a new game plan and it’s going to be a whole new fight this time.”

Should Bennett defeat Kish again, she’s got a clear goal in mind that she’d like to achieve before the end of 2022.

“I want to cap off my year with the belt,” said Bennett. “I have a birthday at the end of the year, in November, and I think the best birthday present I could give myself is a brand spanking new shiny Bellator belt.”