Mandel Nallo to rely on technique against Saad Awad at Bellator 249

October 14, 2020

Having had some difficulty over the past couple years finding consistency with his fight schedule, lightweight Mandel Nallo was hoping 2020 would be different, but it ended up not working out that way.

With the novel coronavirus pretty much wiping out his summer, Nallo was once again forced to wait a long time between fights, but was still able to train when he could and make the best of the situation at hand.

“The goal has always been to fight more,” Nallo told MMAWeekly.com. “For me it was to get in there as soon as I could and try to get in two fights before the year was over, preferably three, but c’est la vie.

“Everybody was just sort of playing it by ear, even in Ontario and the Quebec area there was an initially a 14-day lockdown, so I headed to Toronto to take care of stuff at home. As things opened up, I started to train more, but initially it was just do what you can; run and shadowbox and stuff like that.”

Maintaining a positive outlook is what helped Nallo get through lockdown and be as prepared as he could be for when he could once again step into the cage.

“My perspective is just that if you’re going to get upset or dejected as something as small of not being as active as you want, you’re going to have a hard career in terms of your emotional stability and all of that,” said Nallo. “You just have to take what comes and try to stay as healthy as possible.

“It doesn’t get disheartening or anything like that. Training is very enjoyable to me, which is the majority of the job, and if I’m always training things aren’t so bad.”

On Thursday in Uncasville, Connecticut, Nallo (7-1) will look to rebound off his first career loss when he faces Saad Awad (23-13) in a main card 155-pound bout at Bellator 249.


TRENDING > Khabib gives an inside look into UFC 254 training camp in Dubai


“It’s one of those match-ups that people have seen over there years (where you have a) relative unknown (in me) versus a seasoned veteran (in Awad),” Nallo said.

“As far as what I need to do, I just need to not make mistakes. Technique carries you through most of the time in fights, and I think my technique is better than his, so as long as I don’t mess up and compete well that should be the way forward, the way to victory.”

With the inconsistency that has plagued his career of late, Nallo is just focusing on what is in front of him, while being open to whatever could possibly come his way.

“I think the best approach is one fight at a time,” said Nallo. “I’ve had great victories and plans to get back in immediately and things have changed, so I think the ideal way to move forward is fight a good fight and in the back of your head to hope to stay active as possible.

“I think there’s plenty of room in the rest of the year for another match-up. It’s easy to get carried away thinking about the future, so you’re better off just focusing on right now.”