Having come into MMA with a lot of buildup due to his success as an amateur wrestler, heavyweight Tyrell Fortune was able to deliver on that hype by picking up wins in his first eight fights. With that success however came a downside as Fortune experienced in his most recent bout.
Facing Tim Johnson at Bellator 239 this past February, Fortune may have been looking too far ahead and discounted his opponent, which played a part in him suffering the first loss of his career.
“It’s just being a younger guy with success I underestimated Tim,” Fortune told MMAWeekly.com. “For me it was more maturing in this sport and understanding at 265 poundsdo everybody has bombs.
“You’ve got to give everybody that due diligence and respect that they’re a fighter stepping in that cage. If you don’t sit back and look and learn from your losses you’re making a mistake.”
In addition to overlooking Johnson, Fortune entered the bout injured, leading him to not play to his strengths, which also cost him in the fight.
“When you go into a fight injured there are things you shy away from because you’re worried about injuring yourself more,” said Fortune. “You have to kind of change your style and the things you look for in a fight because you’re injured.
“That’s the biggest thing for me going into that last fight was that I went in with injuries on both knees, so I shied away from wrestling. That really played a lot into how I navigated the fight.”
On September 11 in Uncasville, Connecticut, Fortune (8-1) will look to get back on track when he faces Jack May (11-6) in a preliminary heavyweight bout at Bellator 245.
“I’m just excited to get back into the cage again,” Fortune said. “My last fight in February and having it be a loss just motivated me more just to train harder, do more, and make sure I could do everything I could to come out with a win.
“Making sure that my body was at 100-percent. Making sure I was focused on me 100-percent and not so much on my opponent and what he does.”
With his current deal set to expire following the bout with May, Fortune is looking first to picking up the win on September 11 then getting the business side of fighting figured out so he can focus again on fighting.
“Right now I’m just looking at this fight,” said Fortune. “This is the last fight of my contract, so after this we’ll sit down and talk to Bellator and see what’s next for me and how we’re going to take it further.”