Tyrell Fortune believes he is right where he needs to be. The Bellator heavyweight has spent his entire career with the organization, amassing a 10-1 (1 NC) record over the last five years. Still, Fortune knows that there is more work to be done to get to the thing he wants most: the Bellator heavyweight title.
As he sat down with MMA Sucka to discuss his upcoming fight with veteran Matt Mitrione at Bellator 262, Fortune shared that he believes in learning from his mistakes. Taking the loss to Tim Johnson at Bellator 239 pretty hard, he’s reflected on one of the areas that affected his performance the most in preparation for his upcoming fight.
“Looking at this fight now, I think back to when I was getting ready to fight Tim Johnson,” Fortune shared. “That was like the first name I had gotten that was like an old UFC guy [who] had gotten into Bellator, had some big fights, lost. And so, I think I let that weigh too much on me. And I was thinking about, oh man, I gotta beat this guy because of his name.”
“So it was just like, I was so into my head. I had just [done] an ESPN interview with Brett Okamoto, and I was like the only Bellator guy to do that. So I was just like, yo, I’m not [going to] pull away. Like, everything I’ve been working for is right here.”
The stress of the name ended up contributing to Fortune’s loss in that fight. Now, he refuses to make the same mistake twice.
“So now looking at this fight [with Mitrione], I’m like, I don’t even care,” Fortune said. “Like that stuff, none of that, who he is, what happened, doesn’t matter to me anymore. It’s just about me going out there and performing and really just focusing on me, making sure I’m a hundred percent. That I can go out there and, you know, show my ability to a hundred percent.
And I think that’s more of my focus now. I don’t really care too much about [everything else]. I’ll let everything else happen afterward. But right now, just the focus on the fight and [not] who he’s fought, before his name. None of that stuff matters to me. “
Tyrell Fortune seeks revenge against Tim Johnson
Though he learned a valuable lesson in his loss to Johnson, Tyrell Fortune is bent on revenge for the only blemish on his professional record. “I haven’t really said much about it,” Fortune said. “I have one post [from] a couple of weeks ago that kind of confused people because I’m obviously getting ready for Matt, but my post said I’m only focused on revenge and money.”
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“And really, that’s it. I’m just focused on Matt, but really, I only want to fight Tim.
And that’s, like, what I need mentally. Just to get it back, because there’s so much that was going on in that fight camp, and leading up [to it], that I just let bother me. And now it’s, it’s getting past that for me.”
While Fortune wants the rematch with Johnson next, any fighter in the top four makes sense for him to get to the belt. “Obviously, if I can’t fight Tim and I think then [Valentin] Moldavsky, or [Ryan] Bader,” Fortune said. “If I get Tim next, I think that puts me right there behind Moldavsky. And then, depending on what Bader does in the light heavyweight tournament if he beats Corey Anderson, he’ll continue to go on. And then Moldavsky will most likely have to defend his belt. And I hope that’ll be against me, then I’ll wait for Bader.”
Before he can fight for a title, Tyrell Fortune needs to get through Matt Mitrione
Tyrell Fortune isn’t looking past Matt Mitrione ahead of their fight at Bellator 262. Fortune is, however, pretty confident that his preparation and new mentality will be more than enough to get the job done.
“I think that all comes to how the fight progresses,” Fortune shared. “And me feeling comfortable. I think the first thing I always love to attack now is someone’s cardio and heavyweights. So that’s, that’s my first thing.
And once I attack that, then I can pretty much do whatever I want. If I want to step in, you’re slower now, your arms, they’re tired. So I think just playing off of things like that and using my wrestling, and other things to set things up will be what gets me the win.”