Custom Search

March 28, 2012

Bellator T-minus 2 days and counting: Open Workout

     Bellator 63 is finally within spitting distance and is on track to bring you as close to the cage as we have ever been able to get thanks in no small part to our great contacts within that organization.  Joe and Anthony have been top notch liaisons at every fork in the road.  Last week as I was looking ahead to this weeks events I noticed we had been invited to attend the open workout session where we could have access to several fighters on Friday's card for both photographs and one-on-one interviews.  As it happens two of Underdog BJJ's own are fighting on this card and were scheduled to be at this media buffet so I made arrangements to attend and show these guys some local support Western MA style.  Matt "Mangler" Bessette and his teammate Parker Porter are two men who have been making in roads across the local and regional scene for quite some time now as pro MMA fighters.  Most recently I've had the chance to see them fight for Reality Fighting at Mohegan Sun Arena located within the beautiful Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.

     Bessette with a 7-3-0 record is happy to be making yet another move forward with this Bellator fight.  His opponent is Saul "The Spider" Almeida a 12-1-0 fighter with a history of recent wins who's return to the circular cage of Bellator is seen by some as not having come soon enough.  7 months ago Saul was victorious in his battle with Tateki Matsuda in Bellator 48.  "The Mangler" is looking to put "The Spider" down for the count in this contest.

     My prediction is that Matt will make Saul pay dearly for stepping in the same cage as him.  Bessette has been focused on his training for many months and been preparing specifically for this bout in a 6 week training camp where he has sharpened every edge he is capable of wielding.  Intensity drips from this mans pours and come Friday "The Spider" will be lucky to have legs enough to crawl back to The Dragons Lair.
     Matt wished to thank his sponsors for enabling him in his journey to be a better fighter.  His list started with Rob "Java" Lucey of Body Language Tattoo Studio who has been one of his supporters from the start.  "Java's" selfless monetary contributions allow Matt the flexibility to use his dollars in many ways from acquiring replacement gear, defraying fuel costs, to simpler things like buying groceries when the need arises.  Matt also went on to add to his list of contributing supporters Hype Xtreme Fighting who currently makes "The Mangler's" custom fight wear and helps to defray training costs, N.A.G.A. continues to support Matt as well as several other important supporters like PVL Brand, and Sweet Serenity Therapeutic Message and Wellness Center.
     Please take a minute and visit Matt's website to learn more about this young fighter and all who have helped him to this point. Simply click on his picture above and you will be taken to

     One of my favorite Reality Fighters, Parker Porter, also an Underdog BJJ member is slated to face-off with my absolute favorite AFO Champion, Randy "The Wolf" Smith out of CNYMMA.  Parker is in top form as of today.  I have seen him fight former and returning UFC personalities as well as smash his way through guys looking to improve their records against him and at this moment I think he looks stronger and more focused than at any other time.

     Porter sitting atop an 5-3-0 career sees "The Wolf's" 13-10-1 mountain of experience as formidable, but not unstoppable.  The volunteer firefighter out of Westfield, CT is on point with his weight which comes as no surprise seeing as he hasn't missed weight yet in his career.  Although Porter and I couldn't spend much time today catching up it was just enough to let me know that his confidence is intact, his spirits high, and an eye toward Friday's eventual battle is keeping him focused on the here and now.  Parker like his teammate wanted to express his thanks to his contributing sponsors for making his fighting ways a reality.  A special thanks goes out to N.A.G.A, Underdog BJJ,  and Sweet Serenity Therapeutic Message and Wellness Center.

     I would like to thank our contacts Anthony Mazzuca and Joe Fernandez for organizing this event. Even though we were unable to meet Mr. Bjorn Rebney today I left the event feeling as though I had experienced Bellator at it's best.  Meeting the CEO will happen and when it does it will be that much better because I know that he cares about MMA enough to have the right folks doing the right things for these fighters and us fans.

Joe Leonard is a writer and photographer for as well as a student of Team Ravenous MMA located at The Web in Greenfield, MA.  Please leave your comments, questions, criticism, or suggestions on our Face Book page or our site by clicking the radio buttons below.