UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Jordan Newman entered Bellator 255 more motivated than ever.

In the preliminary card opener, Newman (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) defeated Branko Busick via second-round TKO. The Roufusport product controlled much of the fight prior to the finish. Once he dragged Busick to the ground in Round 2, he worked to the crucifix position and pounded away until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.

The win came in Newman’s first fight since Bellator 229 in October 2019. The delay in his return to the cage was caused by a number of different issues. Newman revealed the death of his mother in late 2020 was among them.

“We had the (fight) that was canceled here a year ago,” Newman told MMA Junkie at a post-fight news conference. “Then(there were) a bunch of personal things. I guess I want to say I want this fight to be a tribute to my mom. She just passed right after Thanksgiving. I did this one for you. That’s what this one was for.”

Despite entering the fight with a heavy heart, Newman said he didn’t struggle to focus on the task at hand. He thinks his mother would’ve wanted it that way.

“No, it wasn’t tough,” Newman said. “That’s what she would’ve wanted, so that’s what I did.”

The 25-year-old Newman remains undefeated as a mixed martial artist. Despite his wrestling background, Newman has finished fights with strikes in two straight appearances.

Bellator 255 took place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena. The main card aired on Showtime. The entire event also streamed on MMA Junkie.

Check out Newman’s full Bellator 255 post-fight news conference in the video above.