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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – It’s become a rarity to see Mandel Nallo compete inside the cage.
Friday night, Nallo (7-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) will finally returns to action when he takes on Killys Mota (11-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) on the prelims of Bellator 231.
The Tristar product has been largely healthy since October 2015, but has only fought three times. The inactivity hasn’t been his choice. Despite Bellator’s efforts to get him booked, Nallo hasn’t found much luck.
“It’s just how it happened again,” Nallo said. “We signed four contracts this year, but MMA is crazy and stuff happens in the gym. And stuff happens to your opponents, so this is just how it worked out.”
While he’d like to fight more than once per year, Nallo see the upside in infrequent competition. He’s able ride a wave of momentum for longer, while improving his skills without taking damage he’d sustain in a fight.
“I think a lot of guys when they get a bit of hype, their career just springboards and they jump up a level they’re not ready for,” Nallo said. “You see it all the time.
“Guys are 24 and fighting a world champion and he just gets totally blown up. And then everybody is like, ‘That guy isn’t as good as we thought he was.’ That guy was as good as you thought he was. He just wasn’t ready for the test. So I think potentially, it’s been a nice upwards trajectory in competition for me just through having the stance as not getting fights as frequently as other guys.”
Bellator 231 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.
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